There has been a serious increase in children eating button batteries. There are 3000 ingestions of these tiny batteries each year in the United States. They are small enough to pop into the mouth and look like a possible candy. Unfortunately they can cause serious esophageal damage or even death. However, most parents have a common food in their pantry that will help protect the childs esophagus until they can get her/him to a health care facility. This food is honey. In recent research, honey slowed the discharge of the button battery, neutralized the increased tissue pH at the battery contact site to clinically optimal levels, and protected against deep tissue injury, the authors reported in a June 11th issue of The Larygoscope.
Serious damage such as esophageal perforation, vocal cord paralysis, and erosion into the airway or major blood vessels can occur within 2 hours of ingestion of the battery. The authors suggest using the honey for witnessed or suspected early-stage battery ingestion as soon as possible after the ingestion.
The amount of honey used in this experiment was 2 teaspoons every 10 minutes. It is meant to be used as a home remedy until the parents can get the child to a health care facility where the battery can be removed.
Some children are allergic to honey and it is suggested that children under 1 year of age do not eat honey due to concern of botulism. (Not a common occurance according to experts I have asked in the past.)