What Happens if You Swallow AAA Batteries?

A battery against a white background.

AAA batteries are just small enough for children, and for some adventurous adults, to swallow. It's more common than most people think. Once you or someone you know has ingested a battery, you will want to take immediate action.

Will a Swallowed Battery Cause Physical Harm?

In most cases, these batteries will pass through your system without any issues. During digestion, the casing on the batteries can start to corrode and leak toxic acid into your system. This can cause symptoms that are as mild as heartburn, or as serious as severe digestion issues. The battery's chemicals can damage the lining of the stomach, the liver, the kidneys and worse, the nervous system and cardiovascular system.

What Should You Do?

Stacks of batteries.

If you or your child has swallowed any kind of battery, your first step needs to be a trip to the emergency room. Depending on the doctor's recommendations, the treatment may be as simple as observation, or as extreme as surgery to remove the battery. The faster the situation is addressed, the less likely it is that severe, or even fatal, consequences will ensue.

Knowing what can happen if you swallow a AAA battery can be helpful should it ever happen. Of course, it's always best to keep them out of reach of the little ones.