Button batteries warning to parents for accident prevention week

As Child Safety Week commences on 4 June, health professionals are warning parents to be extra vigilant to prevent young children swallowing button batteries on toys.

The caution comes after a recent incident in Cornwall where a child managed to find and swallow a button battery.

As more and more of children’s toys are powered by button batteries, the risk is significant as to a child they can look like chocolate coins or sweets. The consequences to the child can be significant.

Dr William Stableforth Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust said:

“Swallowing a button battery can cause very serious, life changing or even fatal injuries in just a short time if the battery is lodged in the oesophagus (gullet).”

These complications include permanent damage to the oesophagus or in the worst case scenario a battery can damage the main blood vessel in the chest –the Aorta causing torrential, life threatening bleeding”.

Dr Caroline Court, Interim Director of Wellbeing and Public Health for Cornwall and Isles of Scilly added “We know that parents have lots of things to keep their eyes on and children manage to get up to all sorts when they’re not looking for even the shortest amount of time. So our advice is to not let the opportunity happen.

“As soon as you get a battery out of a toy, make sure it is out of reach. Batteries still in a packet should be stored away in a cupboard or drawer not accessible to children”.

If you think your child might have swallowed a battery of any kind, call 999 immediately or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

You can find more information or get involved in the #ChildSafetyWeek on social media or by visiting https://www.capt.org.uk/Pages/Category/child-safety-week

Added on June 7, 2018, in News - General News / Womens and Children’s Services