Beware of Button Batteries: The Hidden, Deadly Danger

person holding a button-battery Button batteries, also called lithium coin batteries, are found in hundreds of thousands of electronics, small appliances, musical greeting cards, key fobs, toys and more. Each year, thousands of children swallow these dangerous button batteries or become injured when they’re stuck in little noses or ears. They are small and shiny, making them appealing to children – and they can be deadly.

Button battery lawsuits

OnderLaw injury lawyers are standing with parents who have had to face the tragedy of losing a child to a button battery injury, as well as those whose children have suffered terrible injuries. We believe those who profit from the sale of products that contain button batteries should be held accountable when they put children and others in danger.

We don’t just take on cases; we take on causes. We have played a major role in changing the way corporations manufacture and sell window blinds, and we are determined to make sure that not one more child will be harmed by unsecured button batteries.

If your child is injured or killed in a tragic lithium coin battery accident, please call OnderLaw at 314-963-9000. We care and we will stand with you.

What happens if a button battery is swallowed? button battery showing green and brown chemical corrosion

If swallowed, lithium coin batteries sometimes pass through the body without problem. However, that is not always the case. When these batteries make contact with saliva, the electrical current they emit forms a corrosive substance chemically similar to oven cleaner. This substance eats through tissues and can cause serious and even irreparable injuries in as little as two hours.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Button Battery Safety Task Force, nickel-sized button batteries are most likely to become lodged in the esophagus (food pipe) of a small child. As a coin battery sits in these sensitive tissues, it burns through them. It can also cause severe burns to adjacent tissues and organs. Not uncommonly, children permanently damage their voice boxes or suffer internal bleeding.

How many people are injured each year?

One child is taken to the ER every three hours to be treated for button battery injuries in the United States. In 2020, emergency room visits due to button batteries went up 93%. In 2010, about 3,400 people of all ages required emergency intervention. That number is believed to have increased significantly as small electronics have become more readily available.

Where do children find button batteries?

toddlers playing

Button batteries are literally everywhere. Any small household that does not plug into an electrical source probably has a button battery. Flameless candles, key fobs, remote controls, calculators, greeting cards, thermometers, light-up shoes, and kids’ toys are some of the most common places button batteries can be found, but there are many more products in which they are used.

Has your child been harmed? Stand with us to make sure no other parent must suffer this tragedy. Call OnderLaw at 314-963-9000.

Button batteries and toddlers

Despite their danger, many of the appliances and toys powered by button batteries are not secure. In some cases, the batteries can simply fall out. Several consumer safety groups are working to require all button batteries to be secured by screws so that children cannot accidentally access them.

Do button batteries only harm children?


It is not only children who are harmed by small lithium batteries. People of all ages have ingested them, often because they tried to hold the slippery batteries between their teeth while changing them. As in children, disc-shaped batteries can become lodged and burn through tissues.

Many of serious injuries are also caused by batteries being improperly secured in hearing aids. When they fall out into the ear canal, they become corrosive. In fact, seniors with hearing aids comprise a surprisingly significant number of injuries.

What other injuries can disc batteries cause?

Swallowing small batteries is not the only danger. They can also become lodged in noses and ears, causing severe burns and damage.

What symptoms should alert parents?

Unfortunately, parents are often unaware that their child has swallowed a button battery, and early symptoms are difficult to attribute to this potentially deadly situation. Sore throat, trouble swallowing, and sometimes a cough are the earliest indicators. If left untreated, trouble breathing, abdominal or chest pain, and eventually shock can result.

If a child has swallowed a battery, x-rays are the only way to be sure of the problem. Seek emergency care immediately. Time is critical in these situations.

What if my child is injured?

If your child is a victim of a tragic button battery accident, stand with the injury attorneys at OnderLaw. We are fighting for change, and we will fight for you. Call 314-963-9000 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Together, we can make a difference.