This month, I attended a reception held by my colleague Jo Gideon MP to spotlight the risks of button and coin battery ingestion among children in local communities.
There have been some tragic accidents and deaths caused by children swallowing these small battery cells, and so I signed the ‘button battery pledge’, promising to help raise awareness of this risk in our area.
The Child Accident Prevention Trust have put together a list of top tips to prevent children from getting their hands on these batteries:
- Look round your home for lithium coin cell batteries – in products as well as spare and ‘flat’ batteries.
- Keep products well out of children’s reach if the battery compartment isn’t secured.
- Store spare button batteries in a sealed container in a high cupboard.
- Remember that ‘flat’ or ‘dead’ batteries still hold enough power to badly hurt a child. So put them out of children’s reach straight away and recycle them safely and as quickly as possible.
- Take care when buying toys from markets, discount stores or temporary shops as they may not conform to safety regulations. Similarly, toys bought online or from overseas may also not meet UK safety standards.
- Teach older children that button batteries are dangerous and not to play with them or give them to younger brothers and sisters.
- If you think your child has swallowed a button battery, don’t delay, take them to A&E straight away or call 999 for an ambulance. Don’t let them eat or drink and don’t make them sick.