Button Battery Ingestion

Legal Malpractice AttorneyHas your child been injured from swallowing a button battery?

Lithium ion or "button batteries" are useful devices, but if they are not properly secured, they are extremely dangerous to small children.

If a child swallows a button battery, it can get stuck in the esophagus where it may cause serious injuries or death. Bodily fluids such as saliva can combine with the electric current from the battery and cause an extremely corrosive mixture of chemicals that will burn through tissues and damage organs.

Button batteries are in all kinds of appliances, including in toys, small electronics, remote controls, garage openers, toothbrushes, LED lit devices, watches, and other products that are frequently in easy reach of small children. Unfortunately, many of the products on the market do not properly secure the batteries in a way to prevent children from accessing them.

These shoddy products are defective because they are unreasonably dangerous, and because it is foreseeable that small children will put things in their mouths. Because of their small size and appearance, button batteries look especially like something that would go in the mouth to a small infant or toddler who cannot appreciate the danger.

Unfortunately, many parents also do not appreciate the risk of these products. The dangers are just not well known. The word it starting to get out and awareness is growing, but most consumers have no idea of the dangers lurking in these household products.

Parents should endeavor to store these batteries in child secure areas, and also be careful that all household products purchased that have button batteries are secured, preferably by something that requires a tool to open. Until the laws catch up to force companies to take the inexpensive precautions that will save kids' lives, parents will have to remain extra vigilant.

It is not uncommon for button battery incidents to be mistaken, and initially misdiagnosed as another problem. Small children cannot talk, and care providers may not have witnessed the swallowing. Sometimes the incident presents as drooling, hoarse voice, vomiting, or strange wheezing sounds.

If there is any question, a child should be taken straight to an emergency room where a chest x-ray can be taken to see if a button battery is present. A scope or other surgery may be required to remove the battery before it moves or does further damage.

In the aftermath of a button battery incident, and after the child's immediate medical needs are addressed, it is important to secure legal counsel promptly. It is also important to save the battery once removed, and the product in which it was contained before it was ingested. Photographs should be taken of everything to document the products and medical events. If possible, any purchase records of the product should be preserved as well, i.e., receipts, packaging, labeling, etc.

Experts on the legal team will be called on to study the products, and to assess what caused the failures. Litigation of button battery cases can be expert intensive and require medical and product experts which are hired by the law firm. The litigation can also span the country since cases are often filed where device companies are located, or the incident may have occurred.

Our law firm has experience with these types of cases and will provide aggressive representation once our legal team is on the case. Of paramount concern, we will make sure to address the suffering of the child and parents, and look at all of the attendant future medical needs for a child injured by the button battery.

If you have a button battery issue, contact us by email below or at 858-459-9111 or 713-589-2214.

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La Jolla, California

875 Prospect, Suite 305
La Jolla, California 92037

Tel: 858-459-9111

Los Angeles, CA

2029 Century Park East
Suite 400N
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Tel: 310-593-4193

Houston, Texas

1201 Shepherd Drive
Houston, Texas 77007

Tel: 713-589-2214