Prevention in action

Button Batteries

Learnings published following button battery death independent investigation

We know from child development that children between 1 and 4 often put things that they find in their mouths. For that reason there is a growing recognition that button batteries are a particular danger to young children. When a button battery – particularly a powerful 3V lithium coin cell battery – gets stuck in a small child’s food pipe, it can burn a hole inside the body and cause serious internal bleeding and death.

A report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) has been published following its independent investigation into the death of a three-year-old who swallowed a button battery. As the report says, too few parents know about the dangers posed by these products, or how to manage the risks. The HSIB makes recommendations in three key areas – public awareness, product safety and clinical decision-making.

CAPT has been working on button battery safety for the last five years and as part of the vital public awareness mission identified we are now working in collaboration with the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPPS), and the British and Irish Portable Battery Association (BIPBA). A new national safety campaign has been launched with supporting publicity from CAPT and other tools for parents and professionals.

Read more about how these organisations are working together to raise awareness about the understanding and actions that are needed in order to protect young children from the serious but preventable harm that can be caused by button batteries.

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