Unique collaboration of e-commerce sites, battery manufacturers and retailers supports charity in warning parents of the dangers of button batteries

Amazon and eBay along with members of the British and Irish Portable Battery Association and the British Retail Consortium have pledged to help the Child Accident Prevention Trust warn parents of button battery dangers in their homes.

This International Button Battery Awareness Day (12 June) sees the launch in the UK of five top tips alerting families that button batteries can kill a small child if they swallow one.

The initiatives take different forms. Online retailer Amazon is incorporating safety messages into its shopping experience to help customers make more informed decisions before purchase and when they use a product. Customers can now find safety advice before they buy button batteries and will receive a post-purchase email with short, easy-to-understand advice on how to help keep children safe.

eBay has launched several initiatives to educate customers on button battery safety. These include announcement boards and social posts on the site as well as informative banners on relevant product pages directing users to the five top tips for button battery safety on the Child Accident Prevention Trust website.

The sites are also educating the companies that sell on their platforms about the dangers button batteries can pose to small children.

Rajdeep Datta, Director, Trustworthy Shopping Experience, Amazon said:

“Ensuring the safety of customers is our top priority, and better educating consumers about how to use products safely is a key part of this.

“Button batteries can pose a serious risk, but greater awareness and simple safety advice can significantly reduce the risk and keep children safe.

“We believe that initiatives like this, which bring together organisations across different sectors, can provide consumers with more actionable product safety advice, delivered in more effective ways.”

Wolfgang Weber, Associate General Counsel, Head of Regulatory (Global) at eBay, commented:

“It’s crucial to ensure that children are not exposed to unsafe button batteries, and that parents and carers can access clear information on this issue. The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us, which is why we are proud to partner with the Child Accident Prevention Trust for the launch of the Five Top Tips for Button Battery Safety. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our partners to raise awareness of, and tackle, this important issue.”

Katrina Phillips OBE, Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, the national charity that has spearheaded work on button battery safety in the UK, said:

“Toys, dress up clothes, musical cards, small remotes, lights, scales and key finders are all powered by button batteries. Once you start looking, you’ll find them everywhere. But if a small child swallows a battery that’s dropped out of an unsecured compartment, it can burn through their food pipe to the main artery, with devastating consequences.

“That’s why we’ve led this cross-sector collaboration, to alert families to the risks and the five simple things they can do to keep children safe.”

Chair of the British and Irish Portable Battery Association, Gavin Cunningham commented:

“The British and Irish Portable Battery Association welcomes the news that online retailers are putting in place measures to increase awareness among shoppers of the risks associated with button and coin cell battery ingestion. We are encouraged they are providing guidance on battery safety to companies that use their marketplaces to sell products.

“As an industry, we work closely with the Child Accident Prevention Trust to provide expert information and guidance on battery safety to parents and professionals working with children and families. Our members are working to reduce the number of ingestion incidents by developing and implementing preventative safety measures across their products. We look forward to continuing to work with manufacturers, retailers, charities, trading standards bodies and Government to improve child safety.”

Adrian Simpson, Retail Products Policy Advisor, British Retail Consortium, said:

“We are pleased to support responsible retailers in their mission to place safe products on the market.

“At the British Retail Consortium we’ve been very active in supporting our members through using best practice around button batteries that ensures that our members continue to sell products that keep consumers safe.

“Through workshops, awareness sessions and promotion of Publicly Available Specification PAS 7055, we’ve been able to share with retailers how products containing button batteries should be placed onto the market.”

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Five top tips to keep children safe from button batteries

Look around your home for button batteries

Look

Look around your home for button batteries. Think toys, lights, remote controls and more.

Check for products with loose backs and button batteries that have dropped out.

Check

Check for products with loose backs and button batteries that have dropped out.

Store

Store button batteries in a safe place, up high and out of your child’s reach.

Dispose of used button batteries as soon as you can.

Dispose

Dispose of used button batteries as soon as you can. They are still unsafe.

If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, go straight to A&E or call an ambulance.

Act

If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, go straight to A&E or call an ambulance.

To find out more, visit capt.org.uk/button-battery-safety.

More information

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