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Parents warned of the dangers of button batteries to young children

Published Friday, 2nd July 2021

Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership is reminding parents of the dangers of button batteries if they are swallowed by young children.

The number of serious injuries and deaths caused by button batteries being swallowed or placed in the nose or ears by children has increased over the past ten years as these batteries are used in an increasing number of items.

Button batteries are used to power a huge range of products including watches, remote controls, toys, kitchen scales, thermometers, musical greeting cards and new AirTag products. If swallowed the batteries react with saliva to cause internal bleeding or choking which in the worst cases can be fatal.

Parents should be aware of the symptoms of their child having swallowed a battery such as drooling, coughing, loss of appetite, nausea or pointing to their stomach or throat. Where a parent suspects a child may have swallowed one of these batteries the child should be taken to hospital immediately. As the saliva in their body will react with the battery, time is very much of the essence.

Steve Eccleston, Chair of Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership said: “ We would urge all parents and carers to be aware of the ongoing risks these types of batteries present to children, and If you think your child has swallowed a button battery do not delay in seeking medical help but take them straight to your nearest A&E department or call an ambulance. There are lots of things parents can do  to keep their children safe from button batteries. Be aware of the items around your home in which  these batteries are used, take care when buying toys and try and chose those with lockable battery compartments whenever possible, ensure spare batteries are locked away safely and make sure products powered by button batteries are kept out of reach of young children.”

 

For more information on the risks of button batteries and tips on how to keep children safe visit the Child Accident Prevent Trust website:

NHS have also produced a National Patient Safety Alert on risk of harm to babies and children from coin/button batteries in hearing aids and other hearing devices.

 

To find out more about Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership, visit the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Partnership website.