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016 Pediatric battery-related emergency department visits in the United States, 2010–2019
  1. Mark Chandler1,
  2. Khudeja Ilyas1,
  3. Gary Smith2,
  4. Lara McKenzie2,
  5. Kris Jatana2,
  6. J Morag MacKay1
  1. 1Safe Kids Worldwide, Washington, DC, USA
  2. 2Center for Injury Research and Policy at The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, USA


Statement of Purpose To describe the epidemiology of battery-related emergency department (ED) visits among children <18 years of age in the U.S. for years 2010–2019 and compare to previous study findings for years 1990–2009.

Methods/Approach Data on battery-related ED visits by children were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Narrative and diagnosis codes found in NEISS were used to categorize cases into four exposure routes: (1) ingestion, (2), mouth exposure only, (3) ear insertion and (4) nasal insertion.

Results There were an estimated 70,322 (95% confidence interval: 51,275–89,369) battery-related ED visits among children <18 years during the study period, for an average annual rate of 9.5 per 100,000 children. Battery ingestions accounted for 90.0% of ED visits, followed by nasal insertions (5.7%), ear insertions (2.5%), and mouth exposures (1.8%). The significant increase in battery-related ED visits found in the previous study continued throughout the first 8 years of the present study period (2010–2017) (P =.027). This increase was driven primarily by increases in battery ingestions among the ≤5 year age group. The mean age was 3.2 years (95% confidence interval: 2.9–3.4). Where information was known, most exposures involved button batteries and occurred at home. Ingestions as a proportion of ED visits increased from 76.6% from 1990–2009 to 90.0% from 2010–2019, and ED visits resulting in hospitalization increased from 7.3% to 12.0%, respectively.

Conclusions The current study found that battery-related ED visits continued to significantly increase from 2010–2017 and that children ≤5 years remain at greatest risk of exposure. Continued efforts are needed by government, industry and public health educators to reduce ingestions and reduce the risk of exposure. Ultimately, hazard injury severity reduction or elimination through safer button battery product and packaging design is needed.

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