Honey Can Help If Your Child Swallows a Button Battery

Americans accidentally swallowed nearly 3,500 button batteries in 2019, according to the National Poison Data System. Button batteries are the flat, disc-shaped batteries that you might find in small electronic devices like hearing aids, handheld toys, reading lights and some remote controls. Because our homes are filled with electronic gadgets and toys, the number of accidental button battery ingestion has risen sharply, mostly occurring in children under 6. While many of those swallowed batteries pass safely through the digestive system, they can also be a serious choking and poison hazard, especially for younger kids. If a child accidentally swallows a button battery, they should be taken immediately to an emergency room, but before you frantically run out of the house, feed the child a couple spoonfuls of honey. That's because honey is slightly acidic, which helps to neutralize the alkaline solution created when the battery touches the esophageal lining. Honey outperformed a dozen other liquids like Gatorade, apple juice and maple syrup, which had minimal to no protective effects. Honey is NOT a treatment or "cure" for a swallowed battery, but rather a way to lower the risk of certain injuries while waiting for other medical interventions.