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Button Cell and Coin Batteries

Button Cell and Coin Batteries banner image, showing a video game controller, devices with coin batteries, and an infant playing with a remote control

Dangers with Button Batteries: 

  • Button cell or coin batteries are associated with thousands emergency department visits every year.
  • The consequences of a child swallowing a battery can be immediate, devastating and deadly. 
  • A button cell battery can burn through a child’s throat or esophagus in as little as two hours if swallowed.

Look for screw closures:

  • Keep remotes, electronics and products with accessible button cell or coin batteries away from children if the battery compartments do not have a screw closure to secure them.
  • If the battery compartment holds button cell or coin batteries and is damaged, replace as soon as possible, repair or dispose of the product; children have been injured by swallowing loose button and coin cell batteries.
  • Toys with button cell or coin batteries are required to have a secure closure requiring a screwdriver, coin or tool to open. Check the toys in your home to make sure battery compartments are secured.
  • Do not allow children to play with or be in contact with button cell or coin batteries.

Immediately secure loose button cell or coin batteries:

  • As soon as a discharged cell is removed from a product, place non-conductive tape (e.g., electrical tape) over the battery’s terminals or around the entire battery and discard at a battery-collection center.

Avoid swallowing button cell or coin batteries:

  • Never put button cell or coin batteries in the mouth for any reason. Button cell and coin batteries are easy to swallow accidentally.
  • Adults have swallowed button batteries mistaken for pills or tablets. Visually confirm that you are swallowing medications before taking them.
  • If a button cell or coin battery is swallowed, immediately seek medical attention.

The National Capital Poison Center recommends giving honey to children 12+ months on the way to the emergency room to reduce injury in the critical time between ingestion and when the battery can be properly removed. Do not delay going to the emergency room to obtain or give them honey. Give 10mL of honey every 10 minutes only for children 12+ months who have ingested button batteries in the past 12 hours. Do not exceed six doses of honey.

Call the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (800-498-8666) or the Poison Help Line (800-222-1222) immediately for treatment information if you suspect a child has swallowed or is exposed to button cell or coin batteries.

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