Tragedy struck two days after Christmas for one Oklahoma family when a two-year-old toddler died six days after swallowing a button battery.
The day after Christmas, Brianna Florer of Jay, Oklahoma, began exhibiting signs that something was wrong. The next day, her condition worsened and the family drove Brianna from their rural home to meet an ambulance. Despite emergency surgery efforts, the child did not survive.
Young children swallowing lithium batteries has become a dangerous trend in recent months. According to Dr. Kris Jantana, more than 3,500 children, most under the age of 6, were hospitalized last year as a result of swallowing these batteries.
A button battery is a round, coin-sized lithium battery that is commonly used in children’s toys and books, as well as musical greeting cards, keyless entry remotes, wireless game controls, digital scales and thermometers, watches, calculators and flashing jewelry and shoes. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, children under the age of 4 are highest at risk of swallowing button batteries.
While some batteries pass through the body without causing harm, others can be life-threatening. When a button battery is stuck in the esophagus, the tissue wraps around the battery, connects the current and results in a higher pH level, which liquefies the tissue and dissolves it. For those who don’t witness a child swallowing the battery, the symptoms may be overlooked, as they will appear similar to that of a virus or cold. In most cases, an x-ray is required to confirm that a battery has been ingested.
For parents, it is important to thoroughly inspect these products to ensure the battery is secured inside a compartment or child-resistant compartment, especially for those that are easily accessible to children.
If your child swallowed a battery and has been injured due to a defective toy or product, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights. Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients in defective children’s toy cases and will fight for your right to receive compensation. Contact (888) LAW-8088 for a consultation today.