Mom Shares Life-Saving Hack if Your Child Swallows a Battery
Not gonna lie, friends…the thought of my child choking or swallowing something as dangerous as a battery is in my top three most terrifying fears as a parent.
And I am 100% sure that I am not alone in that.
One mom, Katie Jacobsen, took to to share her life-saving hack after her daughter swallowed a button battery that could have turned into life-threatening situation lightning fast.
But thanks to quick thinking, the family saved the little girl from serious harm.
“ Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday. It was a good day. Except for the end. So here is a little story,” the post begins.
“ For dinner we ordered food from Cracker Barrel. We got a family dinner that came with biscuits with butter and little honey packets.
Right after dinner we sat in the living room.
Maggie comes over to me and points at her mouth and says. ‘I just swallowed that.’
The family quickly assessed that the shiny thing Maggie ingested was a button battery from her doll.
As the family began to quickly gather themselves up to head to the hospital emergency room, Eva (who we think is her other child) quickly Googled what to do if you swallow a button battery and the internet said to swallow honey.
“ We start getting ready to go to the hospital. While I’m doing that, Eva is on her phone looking things up. ‘Mom it says to give her honey,’” the post continues.
“ We still have little packets of honey just sitting on the table. How amazing is that? It was surely God’s kindness to us! So we give her a couple of packets. And grab the rest for the ride to the hospital. I give her more in the car.”
So, why does honey help when you swallow a button battery?
Jacobsen wrote, “I was not planning to share this on But multiple times the doctors told us how good it was that we gave her that honey right away.
Because it coats the battery and keeps it from getting stuck.”
According to the Poison Control, the new national guidelines on what to do if someone swallows a battery is to immediately swallow honey.
“While the first thing to do is to make sure a child who is believed to have swallowed a button battery gets to the hospital, this new guideline, based on our study, is better than doing nothing,” Ian N. Jacobs, MD, Director of the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders and a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) told the CHOP news blog.
“We found that honey can reduce esophageal injury in the critical time between ingestion and when a child is able to have the battery properly removed.”
According to Poison Control, if you believe someone has swallowed a battery, here are the immediate steps to take:
- Do NOT induce vomiting.
- Call 911 and immediately administer honey.
- Give the honey at 2 teaspoons every 10 minutes for at least 6 doses.
The honey will coat the battery and prevent alkaline burns from injuring the patient as we can see in the images posted by Jacobsen.
A battery as small as a button-style can pack quite a punch.
In the picture, the battery appears to have burned through what looks like ham on the left side of a plate.
The sample to the right of the burned meat shows a battery coated in honey and no burns on the ham underneath.
To check out the Poison Control battery triage chart and updated guidelines on what to do if your child swallows any kind of battery, check out their site here.
Or call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 800-498-8666 for help.
Jacobsen’s cautionary tale about swelling batteries has gone viral, indicating that parents everywhere share this fear of their kids swallowing scary things. The [post has been shared 98K times and has attracted 2.5K Комментарии и мнения владельцев and climbing.
Stay safe out there, friends.
Button batteries. shocking images show how dangerous they can be for children
Earlier this year (Jan 2021), the Government ran a new campaign to highlight the dangers to children of button batteries – those little batteries that are now used in everything from TV remotes and car key fobs to children’s toys.
In May 2016, George Asan from Hampshire lost his 2-year-old daughter Francesca when she swallowed a button battery. It got lodged in her throat and burned through, and she died from internal bleeding.
In Jan 2018, Dutch pediatric doctor Lissy de Ridder revealed on that she’d performed 3 surgeries to remove button batteries from children’s throats. in the space of just one week.
So, we think it’s important to show this striking picture, above. It demonstrates how a button battery can dissolve flesh. It’s deliberately shocking in an attempt to warn parents to keep these little round shiny silver batteries away from children.
In case you were worrying, the photo shows what a battery can do to a piece of ham, not human flesh. But it’s the same effect.
When a battery button is swallowed, it can get coated in the mucous in the oesophagus. This creates an electrical circuit and the battery starts to function. The battery then releases a corrosive substance, which is a bit like caustic soda. and the damage is done.
The dangers of button batteries have been talked about in the public domain for quite a few years now.
But Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is now reporting a big increase in cases of children swallowing them. GOSH sees around one case a month currently, when a decade ago cases were very rare.
This BBC News video is well worth watching so you can be fully aware of the damage these little batteries can do. In the short film, BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh demonstrates with a piece of ham what can happen to your child’s oesophagus after swallowing one of the batteries or if it gets stuck in their windpipe.
One child’s story
The BBC film also shares stories of children this has happened to, such as 3-year-old Valeria from Northern Ireland.
Valeria’s ingested battery wasn’t spotted for 5 days, until she’d had an X-ray. But by that time, so much damage had been done that she has now spent 9 months having treatment at GOSH. She still has to visit every few weeks and has had to have part of her oesophagus removed.
Her mum Jelena explained: Because she now can’t eat or drink properly, the doctors have made a hole in her neck and attached a bag so that all her saliva and anything she drinks goes straight in to it.
Without this, water would go in to her lungs, which would be very dangerous. She also has a special button on her tummy that liquid food goes through.
In many ways Valeria is now a normal 3-year-old who likes Play-Doh and playing doctors, but she still needs a lot more operations to help her recover.
The expert’s view
Speaking to the BBC, Kate Cross, consultant neonatal and paediatric surgeon said: If the battery gets enveloped in the mucosa of the oesophagus it can erode through the wall to the windpipe.
If the battery is facing a different way it can burn into the aorta. a major blood vessel. and there have been cases in Britain where the child has bled to death.
Kate’s unequivocal on how parents should store batteries, warning starkly: Button batteries should be treated like poison and kept out of the reach of children.
So if you do get a few minutes today. it might be worth doing a quick sweep through the house just to make sure there are none lying about and, if there are, to pop them somewhere super-safe.
Family Voices — Reese’s Story
Reese died after ingesting a button battery. She was 18 months old.
Reese Elizabeth Hamsmith, known affectionately to those closest to her as ReRe, was born into this world a spunky, sassy, full-of-life little girl on June 13, 2019. At only 17 months old, Reese took the attention of an entire room the moment she walked in with her spirited demeanor and inquisitive attitude. She lived life in a way that most will never know. She loved hard, played hard, and fought harder.
Reese swallowed a button battery in October 2020; she endured countless surgeries and scopes and was intubated under sedation for 40 days. Reese lost her fight on December 17, 2020, at just 18 months old.
Her family always knew Reese would do big things in this world. In Reese’s hospital room sat a plaque that read, “He has a plan, and I have a purpose.” Her Earthly battle may be over, but her true battle, her true plan, and her true purpose has just begun. Through sharing her story, we can save lives—that’s Reese’s Purpose.
What’s Happened Since Reese’s Death?
Reese’s mom, Trista, has been a nonstop warrior raising awareness and working behind the scenes to make real change. She testified before the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission priorities hearing asking for mandatory standards requiring safer closures on all products that contain button batteries. She founded Reese’s Purpose, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving product safety. Their first and primary FOCUS is to raise awareness of the dangers of button batteries and to advocate for legislative action to prevent other families from suffering – either with lifelong health issues or the death of a beloved child – due to accidental button battery ingestion. The Hamsmiths have also set up a scholarship in Reese’s memory. In 2022, Congress passed Reese’s Law which will help prevent button or coin cell battery ingestions.
How You Can Take Action
To take action and help prevent further incidents, injuries, and deaths, there are a number of things you can do:
- Secure and tape shut the battery compartments of all electronic items.
- Keep remotes and other electronics out of your child’s reach if the battery compartments do not have a screw to secure them. Use tape to help secure the battery compartment.
- To safely dispose of button and lithium coin batteries, wrap them in tape and recycle or put them in an outside garbage can.
- If you suspect your child has ingested a button battery, take them immediately to an emergency room.
- Learn more about button battery ingestion and how you can get involved at Reese’s Purpose.
- Sign this petition organized by Reese’s mom calling on lawmakers to pass legislation to prevent button battery ingestions.
Check out our action steps for all children’s products here.
National Button Battery Awareness Day 2023: Date, History, Facts about Button Batteries
This day was established in April 2021 by Trista Hamsmith, whose 18-month-old daughter Reese passed away. Reese had ingested a button battery, and although the physicians performed surgery to remove it,
National Button Battery Awareness Day is observed annually on June 12 in remembrance of 18-month-old Reese Hamsmith of Lubbock, Texas, who perished tragically after ingesting a button battery. Baby Reese did not survive despite being brought to the hospital and undergoing surgery, as the button battery had already caused too much damage. Prior to the incident, few people were aware of the hazards of button batteries, a common household item. The purpose of National Button Battery Awareness Day is to raise awareness in the hopes that no other family will have to endure what Reese’s did.
The background of National Button Battery Awareness Day
This day was established in April 2021 by Trista Hamsmith, whose 18-month-old daughter Reese passed away. Reese had ingested a button battery, and although the physicians performed surgery to remove it, it only partially resolved the issue. Dr. Thomas McGill, the University Medical Centre surgeon who initially rescued Reese by removing the battery, stated that these batteries are dead and have a positive and negative side. As soon as they enter the oesophagus, they begin to generate electricity, resulting in an electrical injury.
Several health organisations presented demonstrations by sandwiching a button battery between two slices of gammon. In just half an hour, you can observe it commence to consume the ham. Trista stated that her daughter’s oesophagus had been damaged by the battery, causing air and food to enter unintended areas. She also stated that the resulting cavity was a sizable one. Surgeons at the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston attempted to repair this wound, but it was too late. Six weeks after the battery was removed, Reese passed away. Trista would have described the situation as a living nightmare if not for the support of her friends, family, and acquaintances back home.
When the unfortunate story went viral, however, some individuals held the Hamsmiths accountable for their carelessness. This is when Trista realised she needed to speak out in order to educate parents and save other children from the same fate. She stated that it is not necessary to constantly monitor your child because these occurrences can occur extremely quickly. She devised the day so that more parents would be aware of the dangers posed by button batteries.
IMPORTANT FACTS REGARDING BUTTON BATTERIES
The battery reacts with bodily fluids, such as mucus or saliva, to produce a circuit that can discharge an alkali capable of destroying human tissue.
An average of over 3,000 paediatric button battery ingestions are reported annually in the United States, and the incidence of severe and fatal outcomes is rising.
Children under the age of five are most susceptible to ingesting button batteries.
Many instances of button battery ingestion are treated slowly because they are frequently misdiagnosed.
Numerous organisations advocate for the incorporation of button battery removal in medical school curricula.