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Child safety and button batteries

Thursday 9th April 2015

Public health in Wiltshire Council is running an awareness campaign about the danger of button batteries to young children. This inury prevention campaign launches during the second week of the 2015 Easter school holidays. 

Button batteries are not only a choking risk. If the button battery becomes stuck in a child’s throat, this can trigger an electrical charge and create caustic soda (the chemical used to unblock drains). It can burn a hole through the throat and can lead to serious internal bleeding and death. The reaction can happen in as little as two hours.

In the Greater Manchester area, we are aware of two deaths of young children who swallowed these batteries, and five children who now have life changing injuries. The oldest child affected was six years old.

Button batteries are now found in many everyday objects and gadgets around the home, including children’s toys and books. The battery compartment should be secured with a screw, however, some toys from markets and pop up shops may not conform to safety regulations and most adults are unaware of the danger, hence the campaign.

You can download a poster here to display in your school. Please spread the word with parents and carers, and let’s try and prevent these injuries and deaths happening in Wiltshire.

More information about button batteries, case studies, press reports and a short film can be found on the following website

Details of other local and national campaigns can be found here.