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King Fahad Medical City

Patient Guide / Poison Control / Battery Poisoning

Battery ingestion risks:

Most cases of battery ingestion are serious. There are cases of death or burning or puncture in the esophagus or trachea accompanied by serious complications, such as the need for surgical intervention.

These complications occur when the battery is attached to the esophagus and is not removed within two hours, forming a kind of alkaline fluid that causes serious complications. Placing the battery in the nose or ear is also dangerous and requires the battery to be removed as quickly as possible.

Beware of lithium batteries in particular!!

It is the most dangerous type of battery, because of its relatively large surface area (similar to the size of a coin) makes it vulnerable to the digestive system of the child and burns faster than other batteries, especially in young children.

You can identify the lithium battery by letters and numbers engraved on them: CR, BR, or DL, followed by one of the following numbers: 2032, 2025, or 2016.

Where are batteries found?

•  Remote controls.

• Toys.

• Clocks and calculators.

• Scales / cameras.

• Mobile phones and computers.

• Some greeting cards or children books that make a sound when opened.

• Medical devices (e.g., blood glucose meter, digital thermometer).

•  Electronic toothbrushes, and most home appliances that run on batteries.

Tips to avoid battery risk:

•  Place the batteries away from your baby's reach.

• Avoid buying games that do not have a metal nail securing the battery compartment.

• Close the covers that can be opened with a tight tape.

• Be especially careful of devices that have large batteries.

• Do not change the batteries in front of your child.

If your child swallows a battery:

Take him directly to the nearest emergency room, even if he has no symptoms. Avoid trying to make him vomit or give him any drink or food. In most cases, your child will have X-ray in the hospital to make sure the battery does not stick to the esophagus.