DELANO, Minn. -- It's a well known fact that the littlest ones can cause the biggest scares.
Just ask Steve Hanlon.
"He thought it was funny to take it apart," Steven said talking about the small camping lantern his two year old took apart this weekend and inside it found 8 lithium batteries, known as button batteries for their small size.
Hanlon had no idea the batteries were that easy to free from the lantern, until it was too late.
"I looked down and saw the light and I'm thinking he ate something and I said what did you eat and he said all gone and pointed at his mouth," Hanlon recalled of the moment he knew his son swallowed one of them.
Charlie swallowed it whole and his parents called poison control and then took him to the ER after dad checked his tummy with a metal detector and got a hit for metal in Charlie's stomach.
Once at the hospital Charlie got an X-ray and doctors told them the battery was indeed in the stomach, not dangerously lodged in the esophagus.
"He said next to pills they are the number one killer, the deadliest for children to ingest because of the lithium and the reaction they have," Charlie's mom, Shannon Hanlon said.
In 2010 more than 3,400 button battery swallowing cases were reported in the U.S., according to a group called The Battery Controlled.
And it can turn fatal if the battery gets caught in the esophagus it can burn a hole thru it in a matter of hours.
Charlie passed the battery in a couple of days in a bowel movement so the Hanlons were lucky.
But the cautionary tale made them re-child proof the house and in doing s they found the batteries in the bathroom scale, the dog collar, garage door opener and of course the lantern all since kept out of Charlie's reach.
"After two and a half years you think you have it figured out but that was quite the experience," Steve said.
Doctors warn parents if they know a child has ingested one of these batteries to immediately take them to the E.R.
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )