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A 2-Year-Old Girl is Fighting for Her Life After Swallowing a “Button” Lithium Battery

A warning to all parents: lithium batteries can be deadly when swallowed.


Toddlers, as expected, are curious and their behavior can be extremely erratic. They try to climb anything they can climb on and try to swallow anything that they can get into their mouths. As such, keeping them safe is a priority – we could not emphasize that enough. We are sure you wouldn’t want any accidents to happen to your kids, just like what happened to this little girl in England.

Two-year-old Kacie Barradell is now fighting for her life after swallowing a “button” lithium battery. The battery caused severe damage to her esophagus so she is now being fed through a tube. Doctors told Cheryl Bell, Kacie’s mum, that there was a 40% chance that her daughter would die, and, if ever she did pull through, she has a 50% chance of being paralyzed from her waist down.

For Cheryl, the news was grim so she wants to warn other parents about the dangers that lithium batteries bring, particularly the “button” ones. Kacie is presently receiving medical treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she might stay for another month and undergo a second surgery.

Kacie has to be fed through a tube because her esophagus has been badly damaged.

Kacie had to undergo a six-hour-long surgery after her condition deteriorated.


The unfortunate accident happened in February when Kacie inadvertently swallowed a “button” lithium battery from car keys. Kacie was rushed to the hospital following bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. However, the doctors only realized that she swallowed a lithium battery a few days after she sought consult. Kacie’s condition rapidly deteriorated and she began to have problems with her breathing.

As if that was not bad enough, a week after she was admitted to the hospital, Kacie began to vomit blood. She then had to undergo a six-hour-long surgery.

Kacie (pictured front left) with her mother, Cheryl, and her siblings.


Cheryl never leaves her daughter’s side. She said:

“I’m going through hell and back. Kacie might not walk properly again for the rest of her life. She is recovering now and getting there.

“I want to warn other parents what damage the batteries can do. Kacie is lucky she survived.”

Other items that children swallow can pass safely through the body and not cause any life-threatening effects. However, lithium batteries are particularly dangerous as they pose a choking hazard and cause chemical injury inside the body once ingested. The flesh burns and erodes as it comes in contact with the caustic soda that results from the reaction between the saliva and the chemicals released by the battery.

This is the lithium battery that almost cost Kacie her life.

A lithium battery similar to the one Kacie swallowed.


Unfortunately, Kacie sustained damage not only to her esophagus but also to two large arteries in her back and adversely affecting her ability to walk.

Cheryl adds:

“Birmingham Children’s Hospital saved my daughter’s life.”

“She could have died and she would have if it hadn’t been for them. Kacie may never be able to walk properly again for the rest of her life. Button batteries are so dangerous.”

Birmingham Children's Hospital, where Kacie is currently receiving treatment.


There have been several reported incidents of children ending up injured after swallowing batteries. Shiela Merill, public health adviser of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said:

“Young children are naturally inquisitive, and explore the world in part by putting things in their mouths.”

“As more and more electronic items are introduced into the family home, the potential for children to swallow button batteries increases, and this can lead to choking or poisoning.”

“We want parents, grandparents, childminders and carers to be aware of the danger and understand that these seemingly harmless little batteries can cause serious injury to children.”

Watch how button lithium battery damages flesh:

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