Button batteries, toys and novelty goods – it must be Christmas

5 Dec 2016

It seems to get earlier every year, but when it comes to child safety, earlier definitely means better.

Button batteries

The story of Eva McCafferty who swallowed a button battery when she was 14 months old highlights the devastating injuries that can occur – it eroded her oesophagus.

These tiny batteries are found in a range of household items at any time of year. But the risk escalates in the lead up to Christmas when flashing and musical Santa hats, Christmas cards and decorations flood the market, beacuse these are just the kind of novelty items that children adore.

The batteries are also found in many children’s toys and books. But while these products are required to have a screwed-down cover, novelty items aren’t, and they pose a big risk to children:

If swallowed, the electrical charge from a button battery creates caustic soda inside the body. This can burn a hole through the throat and major blood vessels and children can bleed to death.

Last year, CAPT responded to calls from paediatric consultants, who had seen first-hand the devastation caused, by starting a national campaign and producing hard-hitting resources to raise awareness.

Our Button Battery safety pack includes one poster and 100 flyers for just £15 (plus £3.95 P&P). Please help us warn parents and carers by raising awareness in your setting.


Buying presents for kids is fun for everyone but it’s important to make sure that the toys you buy are safe. These top tips come from our How safe are your child’s toys? leaflet:

  • Always head to reputable retailers. Markets, car boot sales or temporary shops may sell illegally imported toys that don’t meet strict toy safety requirements. These toys may seem like a bargain but they are not built to safe standards and could be dangerous for little ones.
  • Make sure you look at the age range on the toy packaging, as babies and toddlers can choke on small parts or swallow harmful parts of the toy. Toys that are not meant for young children are clearly marked.

Our leaflet How safe are your child’s toys? is a great source of information for parents. With advice on quality control, age-appropriateness, toy maintenance and safety marks, it costs just £8.45 for 50 copies plus P&P.

Why not order our toys leaflet alongside your Button Battery safety pack to make sure parents are fully informed before they start Christmas shopping?