According to a new study, more children have unintentionally ingested button batteries in recent years, leading to more than twice as many ER visits from 2010 to 2019 as from 1990 to 2009.
The tiny, disk-shaped cells known as button batteries are frequently found in watches, toys, remote controls, and other common home products.
According to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, hospital emergency departments in the United States had 70,322 battery-related visits from children under the age of 18 between 2010 and 2019.
According to the analysis, that translates to one every 1.25 hours, down from one per 2.6 hours between 1990 and 2009.
The majority of the kids were under the age of six, and button batteries were most frequently used. The batteries were typically consumed, but some kids did put them in their ears and nostrils.
The increase in frequency, according to research author Kris Jatana, MD, a paediatric otolaryngologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is “extremely alarming.” “These numbers will continue to rise and get worse because there are more and more items in the home that use button batteries.”
Reese’s Law, named for an 18-month-old daughter who perished in 2020 after ingesting a button battery that fell out of a remote control, was signed into law by President Joe Biden in the middle of August. Soon, manufacturers must employ child-resistant packaging and warning labelling.
On Monday, the journal Pediatrics published the results of the new study online.