You might have heard stories about children who have ended up seriously ill after swallowing a button battery.
The tiny batteries, often found in scales or watches, are small enough for kids to swallow and the battery acid inside can be corrosive to their insides.
Website CPR Kids showed the effects of the battery on a chicken breast to warn parents about what it could do to their child.
She placed the battery inside the chicken for four hours and took photographs of the corrosion it caused over that time.
The first picture shows the effects after 10 minutes, then 30 minutes and then four hours. At the end, the chicken is burned by the battery.
Founder Sarah Hunstead told Kidspot: ‘I was inspired to do this particular experiment after a trip to the supermarket with my oldest daughter.
‘We were walking down the baby products aisle – she stopped and picked up a small object off the shelf where the baby toys were – my daughter said ‘MUM! LOOK! a button battery! That is so dangerous!’
‘Looking around I saw an opened packet on the shelf that obviously a shopper had left there – did they not understand how incredibly dangerous these items are?
‘I decided that we needed to show what damage these batteries can do, so I put some chicken fillets in my trolley and my daughters and I did the time-lapse photos that afternoon.’
According to Great Ormond Street hospital, the battery can react with bodily fluids like mucus or saliva, creating a circuit.
The reaction releases caustic soda, which can burn through tissue.
They explain: ‘An alkaline substance is at the opposite end of the pH scale to an acid but is just as dangerous. Even ‘dead’ batteries have the potential to release the alkali so should be treated just as carefully as new batteries.’
The battery can cause significant damage to the oesophagus as it is swallowed and it can burn through the tissue completely to form a hole.
If your child does swallow a button batter, it’s important to get them to hospital as soon as possible. Finding out the type of battery they swallowed can be helpful but don’t let it delay getting them to hospital.
Don’t let them eat or drink anything or try to make them sick as this could cause more damage.
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