A recent program on the ABC’s Australian Story highlighted the ongoing problem with young children swallowing button batteries and suffering life threatening injuries.
A few years ago, the Local Ambulance Committee distributed information leaflets and Button Battery Aware magnets to local families to raise awareness of the dangers of the batteries.
The leaflet advised that if a child swallows a button battery, it can get stuck in their oesophagus or elsewhere in their system and burn through soft tissue in as little as two hours. Recovery can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries. Lifelong disability can be a result.
Some safety tips were included in the leaflet such as:
Keep button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach of small children
Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure
Dispose of used button batteries immediately as flat batteries can still be dangerous
If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or go to a hospital emergency room. Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting
Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe.
The Button Battery Aware magnets may still be available at the Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay libraries or you can email: email@example.com