Because button batteries, the small, round batteries used to power watches, are small and shiny, thousands of American children mistake them for candy every year. More than 2,500 children decide every year to make a snack out of these sparkly silver disks, and 12 times as many children died from ingesting them in the previous decade than did in the preceding one.
Thankfully, your favorite ENT Dr in Amherst, NY has the perfect emergency medical treatment if such a crisis should arise—honey!
What Happens When You Ingest a Button Battery?
If a child has ingested a battery, the first two hours after he has swallowed it are by far the most critical. Once the battery enters the digestive system, it reacts with saliva and becomes highly alkaline. This hydroxide-rich material can dissolve the tissue lining the esophagus, paralyze the vocal cords, erode the walls of airway passages, and even damage major blood vessels.
Why ENT Drs in Amherst Think Honey Can Help:
It’s not always easy for medical professionals to remove foreign objects, and many hospitals lack staff experienced in anesthesiology and endoscopy. If you know that your child has swallowed a button battery, you’ll need to take action immediately to prevent any further damage while waiting for the doctor’s help.
A team of ear, nose, and throat specialists from the Center for Pediatric Airway Disorders teamed up figure out how they could combat child fatality. Spearheaded by Ian N. Jacobs, the initiative’s findings were eventually published in The Laryngoscope. By using laboratory pigs, the researchers found that honey, which is a highly viscous liquid, was able to serve as a protective barrier between the battery and the internal organs while neutralizing the alkalinity.
ENT Drs in Amherst Want You to Stay Alert
While acidic foods, like lemon juice, had been previously considered, physicians assumed that children would be far more likely to be willing to swallow honey because of its sweet taste. Unless your child is under one year of age, in which case it’s best to avoid honey in case of botulism, you should reach for honey in case of crisis.
Of course, you should always make sure that you’re locking away your batteries out of reach of any young children, but in the case of an emergency, don’t panic. You should phone your pediatric ENT Dr in Amherst and the emergency room as soon as you possibly can. If your child has swallowed a battery, every second counts!