QLD: Beware of button batteries


The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is reminding parents and carers about the dangers of button batteries after a nine-month-old boy was hospitalised on Monday for swallowing one of the batteries.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said approximately five Australian children are taken to hospital with battery-related injuries every week.

“Many toys and common household items such as remote controls, calculators, watches, hearing aids, bathroom scales and musical greeting cards can contain lithium button batteries,” Mr Bauer said.

“Serious injuries occur to children after swallowing these types of batteries including choking, soft tissue burns, perforation of the oesophagus or internal bleeding which can and has resulted in death.

“It takes as little as two hours to cause severe burns once a button battery has been ingested and remains stuck in the body.

“Once burning begins, damage can continue even after the battery is removed and repairing the damage can be painful and may require multiple surgeries.”

Symptoms of swallowing a button battery include chest pain, coughing, nausea or vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever.

What you should do:

  • keep coin-sized batteries and devices out of reach
  • secure battery compartments on items
  • dispose of old batteries immediately and safely
  • tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe.

If you suspect a child has swallowed magnets, seek urgent medical attention.

More information about the dangers of button batteries can be found at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or www.productsafety.gov.au.

Contact details

Media contact: 07 3247 5968 or 07 3247 9565
All other enquires: 13 QGOV (13 74 68)

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