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AHS issues warning about swallowed button batteries

AHS is issuing a warning after children across the province have been hospitalized due to swallowing button batteries.

These batteries are like the ones used in a watch, calculator or key fob for example, and AHS says kids can mistake these for food or candies. They explain that accidental swallowing can be extremely dangerous to children, even if it doesn’t become an immediate choking hazard.

Symptoms of ingesting the batteries are wheezing or trouble breathing, drooling, coughing and gagging when eating, trouble swallowing; chest pain and belly pain, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite and fever.

Even if symptoms aren’t immediate, damage can still happen later, even if the batteries are dead or expired. It might get lodged in the child’s airway causing burning. Battery corrosion can also damage the digestive tract.

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AHS notes the damage can happen fast, and if someone has eaten the battery, they should be taken to the hospital immediately. Vomiting should not be induced.

People are also asked to make sure the battery packs of household items can’t be opened by kids, using screws or tapes if necessary.

Parents or guardians should also keep an eye on children using products with these batteries, safely dispose of and watch for loose batteries, and keep them away from kids when not in use.

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