Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

Swallowing Batteries a Growing Risk for Kids

Increase in Battery Ingestion Linked to Increased Use of Lithium Cell Batteries

How Batteries Are Obtained by Kids and Adults

The second study, also conducted by Litovitz and his team, looked at how children and adults obtained the batteries and what kinds of prevention strategies could be implemented. They found that:

  • Ingested batteries were removed directly from the household products nearly 62% of the time.    
  • Batteries were loose nearly 29% of the time.
  • Batteries were obtained directly from battery packaging 8.2% of the time.
  • More than 37% of the 20-millimeter lithium batteries that were ingested were for remote controls.

Battery ingestion was also a problem among teens, adults, and elderly adults, particularly those ages 60 and older, the researchers reported.  Batteries intended for hearing aids were implicated in 36.3% of ingestions and were mistaken for pills in 15.5% of ingestions, many times by older adults.

"Parents and child care providers should be taught to prevent battery ingestions," Litovitz and his team write. "Because 61.8% of batteries that were ingested by children were obtained from products, manufacturers should redesign household products to secure the battery compartment, possibly requiring a tool to open it."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

preschool age girl sitting at desk
look at my hand
woman with cleaning products
young boy with fever

worried kid
boy on father's shoulder
Child with red rash on cheeks
girl thinking

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply

WebMD Special Sections