Button batteries are a seemingly harmless everyday item in most homes, used for everything from kitchen scales to kids toys – but one mum’s simple experiment has shown just how dangerous they can be if they fall into the wrong hands.
Kylie Andrews, the mum of a 19 month old boy, wanted to see the real effect of a child swallowing one of the flat, round batteries. So she put one in a pork sausage, representing the child’s system, and the results are truly shocking.
In a post that has now been shared on Facebook more than 21,000 shares, Kylie wrote: ‘ok so I wanted ro try out an experiment about the effects of children swallowing button batteries. as I have an 19 month old son and it scares the crap out of me. Anyway we used a pork sausage and a plain button battery found in most childrens toys. this is what I got aftwt putting the battery inside the sausage dor 2 hours and 45 mins. The pork sausage represents a childs insides. the reaults are scary. I would want this to go viral and get these batteties banned from kids toys under a certain age all together. plz repost this and send it viral if u agree and want to keel our children safe. it would be such a painful way to die.‘
Kylie’s post has unsurprisingly been spread across the internet by concerned parents wanting to make others aware of the truly devastating effects these everyday household objects can have – particularly in such a short space of time.
In 2014, the NHS released a report alerting the public to the dangers of button batteries, writing: ‘A patient safety alert has been issued by NHS England to raise awareness of the risk of death and serious harm from delays in recognising and treating ingestion of button batteries.’
‘The alert has been issued to providers of NHS funded care to highlight that when a button battery is swallowed severe tissue damage can result from a buildup of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) caused by the electrical current discharged from the battery, and not as commonly supposed, from leakage from the battery.’
‘The sodium hydroxide causes tissue burns, often in the oesophagus (food pipe), which can then cause damage to major blood vessels, resulting in catastrophic haemorrhage.’
‘The swallowing of button batteries needs to be treated as a medical emergency. Removal of the battery alone may be insufficient action to prevent further damage as symptoms can manifest up to 28 days later. Patients need expert input, and careful monitoring and follow-up.’