1-year-old girl in ICU after swallowing acidic button batteries

ATLANTA — A 1-year-old girl is in the intensive care unit at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta after she swallowed two button batteries on Monday.

Salima Sulemana’s mother, Angelica Hill, urged parents to carefully dispose of batteries as she awaits information regarding the damage done to her daughter.

“Look around your house for button batteries in items and secure them right away,” Hill wrote in a Facebook post. “Don’t wait until tomorrow. Don’t throw away old batteries in the trash like I did. A young sibling could dig them out ... I didn’t imagine in a million years that throwing away old batteries would lead to this! Find a secure way to dispose of batteries and keep anything with a button battery secured away!”

According to Hill, she found out Monday that her daughter swallowed a foreign object, but she didn’t initially know the girl had swallowed batteries.

Once exposed to the moisture in her body, the batteries began eroding and released acid, causing significant damage to Salima’s esophagus and surrounding tissues, WSB-TV reported.

Doctors told Hill those injuries should be able to heal over time, but they are still monitoring for possible aorta damage over the next few days. If battery acid seeps into the aorta, there is a dangerous possibility of internal bleeding, doctors said, according to Hill.

While Salima remains in the hospital for treatment and monitoring, her mother said Friday was her best day since the beginning of the week.

“I want everyone to know what a simple button battery can do,” Hill said. “With each passing hour that her vitals are stable and she’s showing no signs of internal bleeding, I praise God.”

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