ER visits for swallowing dangerous items increases

Posted at 9:07 PM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-12 23:07:36-04

COLUMBUS, OH – A growing number of young children are being treated in emergency rooms after swallowing potentially dangerous items.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital In Columbus, Ohio found that between 1995 and 2015 nearly 800,000 kids under age 6 were seen in an emergency room after ingesting some kind of foreign object.

Kids swallow coins, toys, jewelry, nails and screws, but it’s button batteries that rates of such ER visits have been increasing over time.

Doctors say that’s in part because kids have more access to button batteries, now found in many electronic devices.

When swallowed the electric current from the batteries can burn a hole in a child’s esophagus.

Button battery-related emergency visits more than doubled over the study period.

Experts remind caregivers to keep electronic devices like remote controls, thermometers and watches out of kids’ reach.

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