Button battery injuries

PDF download is not available for Arabic and Urdu languages at this time. Please use the browser print function instead.

Button batteries (sometimes called disc battery, watch batteries, or coin batteries) are found in many household items, including children’s toys, and can cause life-threatening injury if accidentally swallowed. Learn what to do if your child swallows a button battery.

Key points

  • Button batteries are small, round, flat batteries that are found in children’s toys and household items.
  • Most button battery ingestions are unwitnessed. Inspect devices at home to know which have button batteries and if they are held in with screws. Make sure to monitor children while they use devices with button batteries that are not screwed in.
  • Button batteries start to cause internal burns in as little as 15 minutes and long-term injury in just 2 hours. Children who have swallowed button batteries need to go the hospital right away.
  • Children who have swallowed a button battery and are able to swallow can be given 2 teaspoons of honey at home and every 10 minutes (for a maximum of 6 doses) while enroute to the hospital. Do not delay going to the hospital to get honey.
  • Safely discard dead batteries immediately. They can still cause life-threatening burns.
Last updated: July 25th 2022