Lithium cell batteries — the flat, round ones that power remote controls, toys, musical greeting cards, and other small electronics — are potentially deadly for young children. Since the “button” batteries are so small, children can easily swallow them. And we know how kids like to test everything by putting it in their mouths.
While deaths from batteries are rare — fewer than 10 have been documented in the last six years — the number of cases in which these batteries have been ingested has increased sevenfold. 3,500 cases are reported annually to poison control centers. Most likely, it’s because small electronics are becoming more prevalent, which means that parents will have to be more diligent about keeping their kids away from them.
“Children have ready access to remote controls, watches, garage door openers,” said Dr. Toby Litovitz, who wrote an article for Pediatrics reporting the dangers of the batteries. “Our major pitch is to get the industry to do something about the battery compartment, but parents also need to know that they need to be dealing with these batteries with a lot more vigilance and keeping them out of reach of the child.”