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Button batteries

Button batteries can injure or even kill a child if they are swallowed. At least two children a year have died because of swallowing a lithium coin battery in this country.

If a lithium coin batter gets stuck in a child's food pipe, energy from the battery reacts with saliva to make the body create caustic soda. This can cause catastrophic internal bleeding, burn a hole in the windpipe and cause death within hours. Even batteries that seem to be 'flat' can still contain enough charge to badly hurt a child.

To keep your child safe:

  • Keep all spare batteries in a sealed container out of reach
  • Ensure battery compartments on toys etc are safely secured
  • Make sure that flat batteries are recycled safely and kept out of children't reach

If you suspect your child has swallowed a button battery:

  • Take them to A&E immediately or dial 999 for an ambulance
  • Take any packaging with you
  • Do not let them eat or drink
  • Do not make them sick

Act fast - there may not be any specific symptoms. However. if symptoms do develop they could include loss of appetite, tummy pain, gagging or drooling, being sick, being lethargic, or vomiting up fresh blood.

Read more in our Button Batteries blog