Disc batteries (also called button cell batteries) are found in toys,
watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled
devices. These batteries are small, usually less than
0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and
can be easily inserted into the nose.
A disc battery in the nose must be removed immediately. The moist
tissue in the nose can cause the battery to release strong chemicals (alkali)
quickly, often in less than 1 hour. This can cause
serious damage to the sensitive mucous membranes lining the nose.
If you or your child has a disc battery in the nose, do not use nose drops or sprays of any type. This can cause
the battery to corrode more quickly.
To remove a disc battery from the nose, have the child breathe
through his or her mouth since the nose is blocked and try the
Pinch the side of the nose without the battery
closed and have the child try to blow it out of the blocked side. Have the
child blow his or her nose forcefully several times.
If the battery
is partially out of the nose, you may be able to remove it with your fingers or
blunt-nosed tweezers. Be careful not to push it farther into the nose. If the
child resists or is not able to hold still, do not attempt to remove the
After the battery is removed, some minor bleeding from
the nose may occur. This usually is not serious and should be stopped by firmly
pinching the nose shut for 10 minutes. See
how to stop a nosebleed.
If you are not able to remove the disc battery, contact your doctor immediately. If you are not
able to contact your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.