It has been a tragic month for child injury in Victoria, with five little angels leaving us as a result of separate incidents – our thoughts are with the families during this harrowing time.
Our focus this month has been on the dangers of button batteries, a campaign that we are very passionate about, as the dangers are largely unknown to many new parents. Allison Rees shared her heartache with us following the loss of her beautiful daughter Bella to a button battery ingestion in 2015. We thank her for her strength in sharing her story so openly and implore everyone who reads this to undertake a button battery audit of their home – and any carers homes – today.
We also have a story with a happy ending to share – Hayley is counting her lucky stars about a key decision she made, after her 12 month old baby received only minor bruising from a high speed car accident.
Please, stay safe and well as we hope for a safer September for our kids.
Did you know that in Australia, an estimated 20 children a week present to an emergency department every week with a button battery related injury?
Yes, that’s right, approximately 1,000 Aussie kids a year experience an injury related to button batteries. While they may not look that dangerous, they can cause permanent injuries and require countless painful surgeries and lengthy recovery times.
What are button batteries?
They are powerful, coin-sized batteries found in many common household devices including remote controls, calculators,bathroom or kitchen scales, children’s toys and novelty items such as musical cards or flameless candles. You may be surprised at just how many items in and around your home contain them and could be posing a hazard to your children or visitors to your home.
Why are they dangerous?
If swallowed, a button battery can become stuck in a child’s throat where saliva immediately triggers an electrical current. This causes a chemical reaction that can burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours, causing severe life-threatening injuries and in some cases, death.
What can I do to help reduce the risk and keep my kids safe?
The good news is that there are some simple actions you can take to help reduce the risk of button battery related injuries in your home, including these four tips:
How will I know if my child has swallowed a button battery and what should I do?
The symptoms of a button battery ingestion can be similar to those of many other common childhood illnesses. This, as well as children being too young or unable to say what they have ingested, means that they can remain undetected for long periods of time.
If you suspect a child has ingested or inserted a button battery, don’t wait for them to show symptoms. Immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for expert advice (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). In an emergency situation, call 000 for an ambulance.
For more information on button battery safety and what you can do to reduce the risk, please click here.
“It’s too late for Bella, but it’s not too late for everyone else. It is our hope that no other family ever has to endure the pain and suffering of losing a precious child in such a horrific way”.
These are the words of Allison Rees, who tragically lost her 14 month old daughter Bella, to a button battery injury. Allison is sharing her story to help raise awareness of the dangers posed by button batteries.
Read Bella’s story here.
Hayley, mum of 12 month old Miles, talked to Kidsafe this month to help raise awareness of the importance of keeping children rearward facing as long as possible, after she was involved in a high speed crash with her 12 month old baby in the car.
Hayley’s confronting story is a must read for all parents and carers.
Mobility and Accessibility for Children in Australia Inc (MACA) is a new not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting and advocating for the right to safe and accessible transport for children living with disability (and/or medical conditions).
Funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency, MACA is developing a national ‘one stop shop’ website, with up-to-date information for all those involved in the safe transport of children with disability.
To ensure the website meets your needs, MACA invites you to complete a survey.
The 10-minute survey is designed for:
parents of children (under 16 years) with disability and/or medical conditions
health professionals who support children (under 16 years) with car seating/transport needs
organisations/government agencies with responsibility for the safe transport of children (under 16 years) with disability and/or medical conditions
MACA will only achieve its vision – of every child having access to safe and equitable transport, regardless of circumstance – with your support.
Are you a parent who has some time to share your views on transport options for children?
Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) are conducting an online survey on parents’ attitudes towards using rideshare services, taxis and automated vehicles to enhance children’s mobility.
All participants go into the draw to win one of 5 $100 gift vouchers.
Please click here to find out more or to complete the survey.
Sydney Morning Herald – Hand Sanitiser poisonings more than double during pandemic
The Conversation – Victorian emergency departments during COVID
7 News – One-year old killed after being struck in Melbourne driveway
Shepparton News – Hundreds of mourners farewell Hunter Boyle
The AGE – Tributes to four-year-old boy after falling trees claim three lives in storm
The AGE – ‘Beautiful angel’: Boy mourned after death in house fire
The Herald Sun – Tragedy as two year old drowns in Tarnagulla
Kmart – Girls 2 Pack Organic Roll Waist Leggings
These garments have decorative buttons that may become detached if pulled, and pose a choking and suffocation hazard if ingested by young children.
For more information please click here.
Lincraft – Formr Memory Foam Pillow for Kids
The zip of the pillow may split under pressure and expose the foam filling, which may pose a choking and suffocation hazard for young children.
For more information please click here
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.