Tiny batteries pose deadly danger

August 5, 2010 8:52:40 PM PDT
Tiny batteries are turning up in all kind of products, such as children's toys, clocks, remotes, watches, and even musical greeting cards.

And toddlers are swallowing them. There are reports of 3,400 children swallowing batteries in the past year. Consumer Reports cautions that the consequences can be deadly.

In some products, such as a talking children's book, a child cannot get access to the battery. Musical books are regulated as toys, so you need a screwdriver to open the battery compartment.

But musical greeting cards are different. With many, a child can tear open the card and get to the battery. And with some small remotes, the battery is also easily accessible.

Consumer Reports warns that button-cell batteries are smaller and easier for a child to swallow. And the injuries can be severe. They can actually burn a hole through a child's esophagus.

To demonstrate the danger, Consumer Reports placed a button-cell battery between two slices of ham. After three days, the battery burned the top piece of ham. And it actually burned a hole through the bottom piece of ham.

Consumer Reports advises keeping button-cell batteries out of the reach of children. And be aware that not all greeting cards pose a risk. Some come with a secure cover over the battery, which is a far safer design