This representation is what can happen inside your child’s body should they swallow a button battery.
(Picture from the CAPT)
Today the BBC joins in a safety campaign with coverage on BBC Breakfast, the BBC website and the 6 O’Clock News, and helps to issues warnings about the dangers of button batteries.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust is asking for help to alert as many parents as possible to the dangers of these batteries, and to stop more tragedies from happening.
So what’s the problem with button batteries?
If a button battery, particularly a lithium coin battery, gets stuck in a child’s throat or gullet, the battery’s energy makes the body create caustic soda, which is the same chemical used to unblock drains.
This can then burn a hole through the throat, and lead to serious internal bleeding and death.
Lithium coin batteries are the most dangerous type, as the higher voltage means more energy is released, in turn creating more caustic soda. The reaction can happen in as little as two hours.
Where do you even find button batteries?
Button batteries are used in a wide range of toys, gadgets and other everyday objects you’ll find around the house.
Many of these objects have buttons and surfaces that young children love to explore and play with, and are brightly coloured or otherwise appealing to children.
These objects include:
•small remote controls
•car key fobs
•flameless candles and nightlights.
It’s not just babies and toddlers, who put everything in their mouths, who are at risk from button batteries – Older children can be fascinated by them too, and in some cases, they may deliberately put a button battery in their mouth or on their tongue to experience the sensation of the electrical charge.
Batteries in children’s toys are covered by safety regulations and should be enclosed by a screw and secure, although older children may be able to open supposedly secure battery compartments.
Toys from markets or temporary shops may not follow safety regulations.
How can I keep children safe?
•Keep products with batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secured with a screw.
•Keep all spare batteries out of children’s reach and sight, ideally in a high-up, lockable cupboard.
•Avoid toys from markets or temporary shops as they may not conform to safety regulations.
•Teach older children that button batteries are dangerous and not to play with them or give them to younger brothers and sisters.
•Remember that even used batteries can be dangerous, so recycle them safely.
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With your support, we can keep children safe from these terrible injuries, and even death.