Swallowing Hearing Aid Batteries can cause Chemical and Electrical Burns
Children are very curious people, so when they encounter something like a coin, small plastic toys, or a hearing aid battery, one of their first reactions is to place it in their mouth, and then possibly swallow it. While kids are spending more time at home, please remember that button/disc batteries - which are smaller than a U.S. dime - can be potentially deadly if swallowed.
Children can sustain chemical and electrical burns from swallowing batteries, so please keep them out of a child's reach. The same goes for your household pets, who you know are constantly on the lookout for food on your floors. They will probably mistake a battery for a snack, and they can also be subject to chemical and electrical burns from swallowing a battery.
Doctors, or veterinarians, would normally tell parents and pet owners to simply wait for the object to pass through and naturally make its way out of the child or pet, but if it’s a hearing aid battery, you need to get it removed immediately.
Here are 5 Symptoms of a Hearing Aid Battery Ingestion:
When you become aware that your child or pet has swallowed a battery, notify your child’s doctor or your pet’s veterinarian and take the child to your local emergency room or your pet to an emergency veterinary hospital. Pennsylvania residents may also call The Poison Control Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (215)-590-2003, which services 23 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania and the state of Delaware.
What type of damage can occur from ingesting a hearing aid battery?
The electrical abilities of a typical hearing aid battery are not severe enough to induce a physical heat when the battery shorts out. When a battery is ingested, heat is not the issue. Even though damage can be caused by alkaline material in the battery as it leaks, the primary risk would come from the electrical current, which can cause an internal chemical burn to body tissue when the battery becomes stuck.
The greatest, and most severe, danger would be if a larger lithium cell battery became lodged in the esophagus. While the battery pushes up against the esophageal tissue, the residual current in the battery can generate serious reactions to the esophagus. Hydroxide will form and then an alkaline burn will occur. It can take place in approximately two hours. If the esophagus gets burned, it could lead to perforations, connections into the trachea, and months or years of damage that affects feeding.
6 Preventative Tips
Make the switch to rechargeable hearing aids
If possible, wear rechargeable hearing aids. This will take away all of these worries. Our hearing instrument specialists can go over the rechargeable hearing aids options that are available at Pure Sound Hearing Aids.
Please be aware that Pure Sound services will only be available by appointment and for essential visits at this time. Essential visits include all appointments that require repairs, re-fittings and new hearing aid fittings. If you are having any problems with your hearing aids, or need supplies - such as batteries - for your hearing aids, please call us before visiting one of our offices.