Cigarettes and hoverboards; what do they have in common? Lithium-ion Batteries. Many electronic cigarettes and so called hoverboards use lithium ion batteries because of their versatility and efficiency. However, attention has been brought recently, especially in the case of hoverboards, to the possibility of battery failure and even explosion. Not only can battery explosions destroy the product, but they can cause injury to users and/or premises as well. (Read more about E-cigarettes or about batteries in laptops and hoverboards.)
Batteries can pose dangers in other ways as well, namely if they are swallowed. Highlighting, this danger is the recent story of a young girl from Oklahoma who swallowed a lithium ion button battery. Button batteries are small disc like batteries (roughly the size of a button) used in many small toys and small electronics. The young girl was throwing up and running a low-grade fever for a couple of days. As the girl’s condition progressed she began to throw up blood. By the time the girl was rushed to surgery it was too late to save her life.
The young girl’s family later learned that she likely swallowed the battery within six days of her death. Often when swallowed, batteries pass through the digestive system and are excreted. However, if a battery lodges inside the body it can release an alkaline substance that can cause corrosive or burning injuries. In the case of the young Oklahoman girl it is presumed that corrosive discharge from the battery caused deterioration in an artery.
Between 2005 and 2014, there were 11,940 battery-swallowing incidents in children under age 6 throughout the country. Of the thousands of cases, 15 were fatal, and 101 suffered major medical issues. Injuries may also occur where small batteries are placed in the nose or ear.
These incidents stress the importance of securing batteries in small children’s toys and being aware of what household products can cause harm. If you or someone you know was harmed by a battery or battery operated device call the lawyers at Rheingold, Giuffra, Ruffo & Plotkin LLP, at 800-349-0004, or online here, to speak with a knowledgeable products liable attorney. Find out what rights you may have and how to protect them with your free consultation today.