February 15, 2016 7:01 pm
Updated: February 16, 2016 9:09 am

Button battery removed from Toronto-area girl’s throat after being lodged for 4 days

WATCH ABOVE: Health Canada is warning parents to be vigilant after a 2-year-old had a battery in her throat for four days before doctors discovered it. Angie Seth reports.


Christina and Michael Smith are breathing a sigh of relief.

Their little two-year-old daughter is recovering at Sick Kids hospital, but the ordeal they had to go through over the last few days to find out what was wrong with their daughter was a complete nightmare.

A week ago, they noticed Katie was gagging. She had been eating crackers and her parents thought she may have one lodged in her throat. After about an hour, the Ajax couple took their daughter to their local hospital.

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They tell Global News doctors checked her throat, airways, and ears, but found no signs of an infection.

However Katie’s symptoms persisted – she was not able to eat, could not swallow, had a distinctive odour to her breath, and was very lethargic. Her parents took her to a walk-in clinic where they were told she may have the flu.

But after a number of doctor visits and a great deal of persistence, an x-ray was finally performed. What it showed shocked Katie’s parents.

The toddler had swallowed a button battery the size of a nickel. It had been in her esophagus for four days. Katie was immediately rushed to Sick Kids hospital to have it removed.

Doctor’s there found the battery had burned through the outer lining of Katie’s esophagus.

“Batteries around any children are not safe, especially little toddlers, they are always putting things in their mouth. You cannot keep your eye on them 24/7 but if you know there is something wrong go with your gut instincts, your parental instincts. Do not let up until you get the answers that your need,” Christina Smith told Global News.

According to Health Canada, there are approximately 65 cases a year of children being rushed to the hospital because they have swallowed a button battery.

In as little as two hours, the alkaline from the battery can start to eat away at the esophagus or any part of the inner body it comes into contact with.

The burning can cause internal bleeding and can be fatal.

Health experts recommend if you think your child may have swallowed a battery to immediately take them to the hospital, do not let them eat or drink, and do not induce vomiting until they have received medical attention.

Button batteries can be found in certain children’s toys, remote controls, singing greeting cards and balloons, children’s books that make sounds, small electronics, and hearing aid devices.

Katie’s parents say they are not sure how she got hold of a button battery. Michael Smith, Katie’s father says he works with electronics and has some of these types of batteries in his garage, however, he does not bring them inside the house.

“As far as where she got it, we have not idea … but we are going to take stock of all the toys that she has, and go through anything and see if it came from one of them,” Michael said.

Katie is expected to make a full recovery.

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