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What are button batteries?
Button batteries, or disc batteries, are small, flat, coin-like batteries. They are used in watches, hearing aids, musical greeting cards, calculators and other small electronic items.
Button batteries usually contain manganese, zinc, silver or lithium. While many used to contain large amounts of mercury, that is no longer the case. However, they may contain smaller amounts of mercury to prevent corrosion and leaking.
Because button batteries are small, young children and pets sometimes swallow them. Swallowing a button battery can be very harmful.
What happens if someone swallows a button battery?
When someone swallows a button battery it usually passes through the body and comes out in the stool.
But sometimes the battery gets stuck in the throat or stomach. This can cause very bad burns inside the body. These burns can happen as soon as two hours after the person swallows the battery.
Someone who swallows a button battery may:
Sometimes it can take hours or even days for symptoms to appear.
What should you do if someone has swallowed a button battery?
If you think someone has swallowed a button battery:
How can you prevent button battery poisonings?
Last Updated: Monday May 2nd 2016