Doctors warn parents about 'button' batteries

June 30, 2011 5:20:46 PM PDT
Doctors at Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital want parents and childcare providers to understand the threat posed by so-called "button" batteries. They say they have treated two children in the past three weeks who have accidentally swallowed the small, coin-sized batteries.

Button batteries are often used in common household items like remote controls, flashlights, or even musical greeting cards. One of the children suffered a perforated esophagus.

"If we're going to prevent the injury by removing the battery, we have a really narrow timeframe. So this is another case where prevention and awareness is key," said Dr. Steve Krug, MD, Children's Memorial Hospital.

Doctors say battery-related incidents causing severe injury or even death have increased sevenfold in the last 25 years.