Toddler nearly dies after battery burns hole in esophagus

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A two-year-old Colorado boy nearly died last May after swallowing a battery that had popped out of a remote control, The Sun reported. Within hours, Logan Stiff began vomiting as the battery worked to burn a hole in his esophagus.

“We had no idea how dangerous these batteries could be, nor did most of our friends and family,” Andrew Stiff, Logan’s dad, told The Sun. “It was a shocking realization and we wanted to make sure everyone we knew could learn about this too.”

Lithium batteries can react with saliva, creating an electrical current that causes a build-up of caustic soda which can burn through the esophagus or other major blood vessels, The Sun reported.

Logan was at a home daycare center during the incident, and nobody witnessed him swallow the battery. Jackie Stiff, Logan’s mother, noticed her son had a fever and when he began vomiting, believed he had picked up an illness from another child. But when Logan began having trouble breathing his parents rushed him to Children’s Colorado Hospital where an X-ray revealed the battery to be the cause, The Sun reported.

He underwent emergency surgery to remove the battery and was fitted with a breathing tube, feeding tube and spit fistula, spending a total of 21 days in the hospital.

Today, Logan is able to eat and drink he underwent surgery to reconnect his esophagus, but he still primarily relies on the feeding tube, The Sun reported. He also has damage to one of his vocal cords but can speak softly. Logan will have to periodically return so that doctors can stretch his esophagus open.

“We are very happy to see Logan recovering so well and just being a happy kid again,” Andrew told The Sun. “We always believed he would get better, but the lowest point was when he failed to breathe on his own. It was frustrating as a parent to not be able to do anything at all to help him.”

“Most people would know to keep other obvious things away from children – chemicals and medicines – but button batteries don’t cross their minds,” Andrew told The Sun.

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