Parents given Christmas warning after battery emergency

Parents have been warned about the danger of "potentially lethal" button batteries on Christmas toys after a girl who swallowed one almost died.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 4:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 1:32 pm

NHS England says parents should make sure that the small, flat batteries - found in toys, festive lights, and musical Christmas cards - are kept away from children.

It comes months after a two-year-old girl from Sheffield, nearly died after swallowing one.

The girl's mother was told to give her daughter "one last kiss" amid fears the youngster may not pull through, NHS England said.

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But doctors at Sheffield Children's Hospital were able to operate and remove the battery from her throat, the body added.

The small batteries are capable of burning through a child's throat if accidentally swallowed, meaning that youngsters opening Christmas presents are potentially at risk.

NHS England medical director, Professor Stephen Powis said: "For toddlers, button batteries can look like sweets and are found in anything from toys, musical Christmas cards and festive decorations, so we want to ensure parents are aware of the dangers of these potentially lethal batteries.

"The best way to protect children is simply by keeping batteries out of reach for children and ensure that any toys that require the batteries are firmly locked into the battery compartment.

"If you think your child may have swallowed a battery, urgently take them to A&E."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents advises parents to make sure that products using button batteries have lockable compartments, be vigilant around products that may contain them, and to ensure that any spare batteries are locked away.