More dangerous than you think: children keep swallowing button batteries (archive photo).
A family from Payerne VD lost their 7-year-old son in an accident in Portugal. The boy never returned to his school after the holidays. The drama ensued after the boy swallowed a button battery.
The child was taken to the hospital after the accident during the Christmas holidays and operated on, as “24 Heures” reports. However, the battery had already caused internal injuries. Now died on Saturday in the hospital in the Portuguese city of Coimbra.
Cause of death vasculitis
“The surgeons were able to remove the battery, but my son then died of vasculitis,” says the grieving mother. Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels.
Xavier Nicod, director of the Payerne primary school, confirms: «Our school is faced with the death of a student. This death occurred in a private environment.” He extends his condolences to the family and everyone affected by this terrible event. The classmates receive psychological support.
The boy’s family buried him on Tuesday at the cemetery in Zambujal, Portugal. A ceremony was planned for Saturday at the Catholic Church in Payerne.
Tox Info Suisse: 80 to 90 inquiries per year
The Tox Info Suisse advice center records 80 to 90 inquiries per year in connection with the use of button batteries. This type of round and flat battery is particularly found in watches. “Small children are particularly affected. Between 80 and 95 percent of children show no symptoms and the batteries are excreted in the stool 24 to 96 hours later,” says the advice center.
The physical reactions after swallowing a battery are burning in the mouth, abdominal pain, vomiting, retching and increased salivation. “If the button battery gets stuck in the esophagus, which can happen especially with larger lithium batteries and in very small children, serious chemical burns can occur within a very short time,” writes Tox Info Suisse.
At the end of 2021, a boy in Great Britain died after swallowing a button battery. Another case occurred in September 2018 in northern France. (noo)