Batteries are extremely dangerous if swallowed

Please share with anyone interacting with families of young children…

Button batteries must be kept out of reach of children at all times – even if thought to be flat. In particular, powerful lithium coin cell batteries (like a 5 pence piece), can cause significant damage or death if a child swallows it and it gets stuck. Even ‘flat’ batteries can hold enough charge to burn through soft tissue over time – swallowed batteries can go undetected until they start to leak, as the child can be too young to tell adults what has happened. The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) advise that:

  • Objects with easily accessible lithium coin cell batteries be kept out of children’s reach – including spare and even ‘flat’ batteries
  • Flat batteries be removed from the home, and 
  • Above all, families take action quickly if they suspect a battery has be swallowed.

For more information, go to CAPT’s website.

Button battery safety campaign

The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is running a safety campaign to raise awareness of the potential hazards posed to children by button batteries. Their website contains a range of materials for organisations to download and share, relating to both this and other safety alerts including fireworks, e-cigarettes and blind cords.


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