Every day, 15 children under 5 are admitted to hospital with
The home is full of risks to the inquisitive baby or toddler:
liquitabs, cleaning products, everyday painkillers, prescribed
medicines, plant food, weedkiller, antifreeze and screenwash to
name but a few. Plus carbon monoxide, the ‘silent killer’, which
you can’t see, taste or smell.
Contrary to popular belief, child-safe packaging is never
child-proof – some children can open tops in a matter of
So it’s easy for young children to be poisoned accidentally. But
it’s also easy to stop young children being poisoned.
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Keeping children safe from button batteries
Button batteries are the small, round batteries you find in toys
and everyday appliances like calculators and remote controls. They
can be extremely dangerous for children, and if swallowed, can kill
within a matter of hours.
Why are button batteries dangerous?
Button batteries aren’t just a choking risk. If a button battery
gets stuck in the throat or gullet this can trigger the electrical
charge they carry and create caustic soda (the chemical used to
unblock drains!). This can burn a hole through the throat and lead
to serious internal bleeding and death.
The scary thing is that your child may seem fine at first. They
may not show any signs of choking or poisoning. In some cases, they
may develop cold or flu-like symptoms.
Button batteries are also very dangerous if they get stuck in a
child’s nose or ear.
Where can you find button batteries?
Button batteries are used in a wide range of toys, gadgets and
other everyday objects you’ll find around the house. Lots of these
objects have buttons and surfaces that young children love to
explore and play with. These include:
- small remote controls
- car key fobs
- hearing aids
- digital scales
- musical cards
- novelty toys
- flameless candles and
How can I keep children safe?
- Keep products with button batteries well
out of reach if the battery compartment isn't secure with a
- Keep spare batteries out of children's
reach and sight, ideally high-up in a lockable cupboard
- Try to buy toys from reputable
- Teach older children that button batteries
are dangerous and not to play with them or give them to younger
brothers and sisters.
If an accident happens
- If you suspect your child has swallowed a
button battery, act fast.
- Take them straight to the A&E
department at your local hospital or dial 999 for an
- Tell the doctor there that you think your
child has swallowed a button battery.
- Do not let your child eat or
- Do not make them sick.
- Do not wait to see if any symptoms