Following a potential influx of toys and gadgets into people’s homes after Christmas, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is reminding people of the dangers of button batteries.
While toys are required to have a secure compartment for button batteries, other items like electronic car keys, novelties and light up accessories are not. And after the UK has seen some tragic deaths and injuries in recent years, there has never been a more important time to learn about the dangers.
What are the dangers of button batteries?
- When mixed with saliva, live or dead batteries release caustic soda which can easily burn through flesh.
- This can burn through organs, such as from the oesophagus to the heart.
- It can cause catastrophic internal bleeding, and a child might not always be able to articulate how they are feeling or that they have ingested one.
- Children are particularly at risk due to having a smaller digestive tract which makes it more likely button batteries can get lodged.
- If a parent or carer suspects their child has swallowed a button battery, get immediate medical attention.
What are some of the signs to look out for?
-Suddenly developing a cough, gagging or drooling a lot
– Being sick and having an upset stomach
– Pointing to their throat or stomach
– Having tummy, chest or throat pain
-Being quiet or more clingy than usual
– Having a reduced appetite and not wanting to eat.
Phillip LeShirley, Product Safety Advisor at RoSPA, said:
“The dangers posed by button batteries should not be underestimated, and RoSPA welcomes the news that Standards for Toys have been strengthened recently to reduce further the risks that button batteries pose. We are advising parents to be mindful that it is not just toys that contain button batteries, and to be extra vigilant.”
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