Warning over button batteries

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North Tyneside Council is warning parents about the dangers of swallowing button batteries.

The warning follows a rise in the number of children admitted to hospital in the UK after swallowing the small metal discs.

The council’s public health and trading standards teams are joining forces to make sure posters are displayed in communities and they’re supporting health professionals to highlight the dangers to families in the borough.

The batteries are commonly found in a range of electrical devices, from toys, key fobs, remote controls to birthday cards,

If swallowed, they can often become lodged in the food pipe where they can burn through tissue and quickly cause a hole, potentially causing life-changing injuries or even death in young children.

Coun Margaret Hall, cabinet member for public health, said: “Although there have been no reported cases in North Tyneside, we want to make sure it stays that way, which is why we’re working hard to highlight the potential dangers to as many families as possible.

“Parents are aware of the impact and dangers swallowing household cleaners can have on children and the accidental swallowing of a button battery should be treated in the same way. If your child does swallow one, we’d urge you to seek medical attention straight away.”

Parents are advised to keep products with batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secured with a screw; keep all spare batteries out of reach and sight; teach older children that button batteries are dangerous and not to play with them.

If 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 ambulance; tell the doctor there that you think your child has swallowed a button battery; do not let your child eat or drink; do not make them sick; do not wait to see if any symptoms develop.