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What are the repercussions of accidental ingestion of button battery by a toddler?

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Posted on Tue, 25 Oct 2016
Question: If there is a minimal suspicion a toddler might have swallowed a button battery 10 days ago but still isn't showing any kind of symptoms can an ingestion be ruled out by now or can it still be dangerous?

The toddler is acting normal
Eating, drinking
Frequent pooping the last week 1-3 times a day with soft, yellow colored poop!
Peeing normal
Snoring at night (while sleep)

No xray has been performed since the suspicion is very vauge, im also considering the risks that comes with a xray on a small child

Thanks in advance
doctor
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (33 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
If there is suspicion, X-ray should be done.

Detailed Answer:
Hi.
Thanks for your query.
Noted the history about a male toddler of years suspected to have swallowed button battery 10 days ago and have normalcy as you have described. Button battery being a smooth and rounded small object it usually passes out and might have been seen in the poop.
But the toddler is not really in a position to tell whether he has swallowed it or not.
The suspicion although vague must be explored and the X-rays are far least dangerous than having a button battery as it corrodes and causes more harm than the X-ray.
I would advise you to take him to the Doctor and get the X-ray of the abdomen and chest just to be sure about it not in the body. And also examine the nose and ears for any foreign body.

I hope this answers your query, please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. T Chandrakant (20 minutes later)
Thank you for the answer!

So if I get it right, the passed amount of time (10 days) doesn't really matter, it can still do damage if ingested?

I just thought that almost in every case a stuck battery gave symptoms within short of time.
Have you ever heard of cases where a ingested battery did damage after a long time without any symptoms?

doctor
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant (15 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
As detailed below.

Detailed Answer:
Yes, it can damage is ingested irrespective of the time frame.
As said earlier, small button batteries usually pass out as they are small.
Batteries can cause symptoms, can cause within few hours particularly when stuck in the esophagus.
Not heard or seen cases where ingested batteries have caused problems after such a long time.
Yet, it is better to be certain that it is not present in the body as there is a suspicion.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 14996 Questions

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What are the repercussions of accidental ingestion of button battery by a toddler?

Brief Answer: If there is suspicion, X-ray should be done. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thanks for your query. Noted the history about a male toddler of years suspected to have swallowed button battery 10 days ago and have normalcy as you have described. Button battery being a smooth and rounded small object it usually passes out and might have been seen in the poop. But the toddler is not really in a position to tell whether he has swallowed it or not. The suspicion although vague must be explored and the X-rays are far least dangerous than having a button battery as it corrodes and causes more harm than the X-ray. I would advise you to take him to the Doctor and get the X-ray of the abdomen and chest just to be sure about it not in the body. And also examine the nose and ears for any foreign body. I hope this answers your query, please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.