Sep 13, 2011 3:27 PM by AP
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The world's leading maker of so-called button batteries is partnering with a child safety advocacy group to raise awareness of a growing problem: Children swallowing the small batteries.
St. Louis-based Energizer and Safe Kids USA say that in 2010 alone, 3,400 cases were reported in the U.S. of children swallowing coin cell lithium batteries.
The battery doesn't cause choking. But when it gets stuck in the esophagus, saliva triggers a reaction that can cause severe burning. Seventeen deaths have been blamed on swallowed button batteries.
The batteries are commonly found in remote control devices and calculators. Energizer and Safe Kids plan to encourage parents to keep the batteries and devices away from children. Energizer also plans to develop new battery packaging and work with electronic firms to raise awareness.