We rely on button batteries to power everyday objects like car key fobs, remotes and children’s toys, but they can badly injure or even kill a child if they are swallowed.
Larger lithium ‘coin cell’ batteries are the most dangerous. It sounds scary, but there are simple ways to keep your child out of danger.
- Store spare button batteries securely and out of children’s reach
- Know which toys and gadgets use button batteries
- Check your home – if the battery compartment of an item isn’t secured by a screw, keep it out of reach of small children. If it’s faulty, get it fixed or get rid of it safely
- Teach older children why button batteries are dangerous and why they shouldn’t give them to young children
- Get rid of dead button batteries straight awayThey can still have enough power to badly hurt a small child
If your child swallows a button battery, symptoms may not be obvious. Your child might be coughing, gagging or drooling, or pointing to their throat or tummy.
If you think your child has swallowed a battery, take them straight to the nearest A&E department or call 999 for an ambulance.
- take the battery packaging, toy or gadget if you can – to help staff identify the battery
- trust your instincts and act fast, even if there are no symptoms
- let your child eat or drink
- make your child be sick