As Christmas approaches we’re all looking to save a bit of money this year but toy safety is something we just can’t take a chance on.
The Child Accident Protection Trust has these guidelines
“It turns out this is one of the most damaging and dangerous things that my beautiful boy could have ever swallowed. It does not get much worse than this.” – Mother of an 8 month-old baby boy.
If your child swallows a button battery, it can get stuck in their food pipe. It can burn through to the main artery and badly harm or even kill them. This can happen very quickly. Children aged 6 months to 4 ½ years are most at risk.
Which batteries are most dangerous?
Lithium coin cell batteries are slightly bigger than a 5 pence piece. They are big enough to get stuck
and are strong enough to kill. Smaller button batteries can still cause harm, especially if they are new.
Where are they?
Your child can find button batteries in things like:
- small remote controls
- car key fobs or key finders
- musical cards and books
- light-up toys and novelty items
- digital scales
- old toys in the toy box
Children may also find spare batteries that are stored within reach or have fallen from the pack. Even used ‘flat’ batteries still hold enough charge to be dangerous.
“The damage they did is absolutely unreal. They burned holes in the intestines. Whenever they opened him up some of his intestines already leaked out.” Mother of a three-year-old boy
If a child swallows the small balls, magnets effectively rip holes in their intestines or bowels. The magnets stick together internally and through organs and tissues, and can cut off blood supply causing tissue to die. They are much more complex than button batteries to extract.
The child will need emergency surgery, then, depending on the severity of the injuries, they may need numerous operations, bowel resection and time in paediatric intensive care.