Button battery ingestion in kids continues to rise

In a review of 61 patients presenting to Starship Children’s Hospital, Auckland, the authors found half involved swallowing the batteries, but nasal cavity and ear canal insertion was also common.

Among the cases, 28% required surgery and three children sustained severe permanent injury.

If a battery lodges in one place it can lead to mucosal damage and deep tissue burns in as little as three hours, the authors said.

They advised having a low threshold for referral to hospital for x-ray investigation.