This pantry staple could save your child's life if they swallow a button battery 2 months ago

This pantry staple could save your child's life if they swallow a button battery

They are tiny and sweet-like and devastatingly, several children die every year from swallowing button batteries.

The tiny batteries can get lodged in the oesophagus of children younger than six years old, or, if swallowed, can leave substantial tissue damage and gastrointestinal perforation.

Ideally, button batteries should be kept far away from anywhere children can find them, but the reality is that so many of the devices we use today have them, and accidents can happen – even when we try our absolute hardest for them not to.

And if the accident does happen, and your child has swallowed a button battery, new research has proven that giving your child honey immediately after scan help avoid serious internal damage.

The study, conducted by the Canadian Medical Association Journal, showed that giving children older than 12 months honey can help create a barrier around the button battery to avoid tissue damage.

According to medical experts, honey could indeed provide a first line of defence while a child who has swallowed a button battery awaits medical assistance.


According to Professor Savithiri Ratnapalan and Amy R Zipursky, who specialises in Pediatric Emergency Medicine, honey can be given in doses of 10ml, about two teaspoons, every 10 minutes for up to six doses, all while awaiting medical help or while on the way to the hospital.

"Animal studies have shown that these treatments result in fewer full-thickness injuries and less extension of injury", the study reads.

What to do if your child swallows a button battery

  • If you think a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, call 112 for expert advice. Remember, prompt action is critical. Do not wait for symptoms to develop.
  • Symptoms may include gagging or choking, drooling, chest pain (grunting), coughing or noisy breathing, food refusal, black or red bowel motions, nose bleeds, spitting blood or blood-stained saliva, unexplained vomiting, fever, abdominal pain or general discomfort.
  • Children are often unable to effectively communicate that they have swallowed or inserted a button battery and may have no symptoms. If you suspect a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, you should ask for an x-ray from a hospital emergency department to make sure.