We use electronic devices every day without giving them a second thought. However, did you know that there is a hidden danger inside many of these devices that poses a serious risk for children?
Powerful coin-sized button batteries are found in many common household devices. Children often have easy access to these devices and many parents/carers are unaware of the dangers as the products commonly come with the batteries already installed.
If swallowed, button batteries can become stuck in a child’s throat and burn through the oesophagus in less than 2 hours. This burning can lead to serious injury requiring surgery, or death.
In Australia, around 20 children a week present to an emergency department with a button battery related injury – that’s over 1,000 children every year. Children under the age of 5 years are at the greatest risk.
To prevent button battery related death and injury:
If you think a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, urgent action is needed. Don’t wait for them to show symptoms, call the Poisons Information Centre urgently for expert advice on what to do, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 13 11 26.
Kidsafe Victoria are proud to work with Bella’s Footprints to develop and implement a billboard campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the devastating dangers button batteries can pose for children.
In 2015, at 14-months-old, Isabella passed away after ingesting a button battery. She is one of three Australian children who have died due to a button battery related injury since 2013. Isabella’s mother, Allison, established Bella’s Footprints i honour of her daughter, raising awareness of the dangers that button batteries can pose so that other families don’t have to endure the same pain and suffering her family has.
Kidsafe Victoria, in partnership with Safer Care Victoria and the Victorian Paediatric Clinical Network, have developed a range of resources to raise awareness of the dangers posed by button batteries and the need for urgent medical care. Resources include a poster for Clinicians, a poster for General Practitioners and poster and DL brochure for parents and carers. To download a free copy of the resources, please click on the links below.