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Family of deceased OK toddler speak out about button battery awa - KOAM TV 7

Family of deceased OK toddler speak out about button battery awareness

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DELAWARE COUNTY, OK -

Kent Vice remembers his family's Christmas celebration just weeks ago, when hearts were full and granddaughter Brianna Florer enjoyed opening her presents.

"She was a bundle of joy all day and she was old enough she could pass out Christmas presents when she wasn't arguing they were hers," Vice said.

At an undetermined time, two-year-old Florer got ahold of and ingested a button battery the size of a coin. The effects were not immediate, but after the child turned a blue color and vomited blood, her parents took her to the hospital in Grove.

"Her medical condition just rapidly decreased and the bad weather had the life flights down, they couldn't fly and she had to be ambulanced to Tulsa. It went bad there. It caught us all off guard.  Being told about her death, it just floored us," Vice said.

The battery became lodged in Florer's esophagus where it began a chemical reaction. Doctors say the removal of the battery will not always remove the damage it causes.

"None of us had that in our minds that that was a possibility. We didn't know the dangers of these batteries and what they could actually cause in damage. We've done a lot of research and we've discovered that this is not a rarity. It's happening regularly nationwide," Vice said.

Vice discovered in his research that the American Academy of Pediatrics say an ingested battery is cause for an emergency room visit every three hours. But swallowing is not the only way it can cause damage; inserting batteries in the nose or ear can have similar damages. Others pass with no injuries.

Lithium button batteries are commonly used in toys, watches, Christmas ornaments and remote controls. They vary in size, but are usually dime or nickel-sized.


"The awareness that we'd like to be able to spread to people is just the simple fact that they do have a danger, so it's not just your little nine volt battery over there that can't hurt anybody. This thing can kill people, and it is," Vice said.

The family is still researching, but Vice donned a "Button Battery Awareness" t-shirt for the interview. The design is in pink and purple, Florer's favorite colors. 

"It'd be our wish that no other family ever deal with this, Vice said.

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