Button batteries can be found in many products in your home, especially in children’s toys. However, few parents know the dangers that button batteries, especially those containing lithium, pose.

While most button battery ingestions are benign and pass through the gut with no problems, batteries that become lodged in the esophagus of a small child can cause severe esophageal or airway burns. When stuck, or enveloped in the moist mucosa of the esophagus the battery begins to function and creates an electrical current. These batteries may also release an alkali which can erode through the wall of the esophagus into the trachea (windpipe) or burn into major blood vessels and nerves that course along the esophagus.