Keep children safe from button batteries this holiday season

December 14, 2022

Christmas is around the corner and many parents may be shopping for battery operated gifts for their children. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reminding Albertans about the dangers of button batteries, often found in toys and electronics, and the risk they pose to children if swallowed.

Button batteries are used to power many items such as games, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, flashing shoes, musical cards, and more. Because of their round shape and small size, children can mistake button batteries for food or candy.

From January to October of this year, emergency departments across Alberta saw 154 injuries in children related to button and similar small batteries.

A swallowed button battery can cause chemical burns and destroy the tissue in the upper digestive tract and may even cause death. The damage can be rapid and is likely to be worse if the battery gets stuck in the esophagus instead of moving into the stomach.

After swallowing a button battery your child might have one or more of these symptoms:

There might not be any symptoms after swallowing a button battery, but injury can still occur. If you think someone has swallowed a button battery:

To keep children safe this holiday season and beyond:

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.