– I saw that he put something in his mouth and made a face, Hollie Phillips says about the scary experience.
At first she thought her son Ralphie (1) had eaten a piece of the cereal, but then he became acutely ill.
– He threw up in one set, but it was not ordinary vomiting. It was brownish-black blood, she says Sky News.
They went to the hospital and the X-rays showed that a battery was stuck in his throat.
– They said he had to have surgery immediately, otherwise he would die, the mother says.
Such small button cell batteries cause almost immediate damage to the mucous membranes. When batteries come in contact with saliva, a corrosive substance is formed.
A test with a battery on a meat spread shows that within 30 minutes the meat is hot.
– Within an hour it is burned, and within an hour and a half it will smoke off the order, says Emma Hammet who is the leader of an organization that teaches first aid.
Pediatrician Paolo De Coppi tells Sky News that they see a large increase in children being admitted to hospital after swallowing small batteries found in watches, hearing aids, a variety of toys and birthday cards.
The United States has seen a sevenfold increase in children needing treatment after swallowing such batteries over the past 20 years.
– Even if the batteries are not fully charged, the batteries can cause damage almost immediately. And if a battery gets stuck somewhere, then holes can be etched in the airways, says the doctor.
The battery manufacturer Duracell has started an information campaign about battery safety, and claims that they have started to apply a coating that tastes bitter to prevent children from wanting batteries in their mouths.