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Ontario Poison Centre




Batteries come in a number of shapes and sizes, and can be found in a variety of toys and household appliances. If someone has swallowed ANY battery there is no role for home management. The person must be assessed in an emergency department. A swallowed button battery can burn through a child’s esophagus in just 2 hours.

Poisoning Risk

Caustic: can cause chemical burns.

Expected Symptoms

  • Can range from mild oral irritation if chewed on, to corrosive injury and burns.

Home Treatment

  • If swallowed, the person will need to go to nearest Emergency Department for an x-ray to locate battery.
  • Call the Poison Centre for further advice: those over 12 months old who are able to swallow can be given honey at home and while en route to the hospital. Can give 2 teaspoons every 10 minutes for up to 6 doses. Do not give anything else by mouth.
  • If a battery has been chewed on but is intact, provide sips of water to drink and call the Poison Centre for further advice.


  • Extra batteries should be locked up and out of sight with all of your other household hazards.
  • Ensure battery-operated toys and appliances are intact.
  • Every case is different. OPC is available 24hrs/day to provide information for your individual situation. Call 1-800-268-9017 (Toll-free) or 416-813-5900 (Local).



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