|19 December 2017|
|Be aware of potential dangers of button batteries|
|Last-minute Christmas shoppers are being urged to be aware of the potential dangers of button batteries, say public health officials from the city and county councils.
The small batteries are used in a wide range of toys, gadgets and other everyday objects you’ll find around the house, and there are concerns that children could easily remove these batteries.
They can be extremely harmful if either mistakenly swallowed, or if inserted into the ears or nose.
Children are particularly at risk – younger children may mistake a button battery for a sweet.
Rachel Rowlands, an A & E consultant at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “We still see children every week in A & E whose parents are concerned they have swallowed a battery.
“However, I’m pleased to say many are there because of the campaigns to raise awareness. They know button batteries are dangerous and have sought out appropriate help.
“It’s great that both councils are again this Christmas getting behind the button battery safety campaign.”
The consultant’s advice is that if you think a child may have swallowed one of these batteries, or you are concerned that one is lodged in another part of their body, it’s important to act really quickly. Go straight to your nearest A&E department for treatment or call 999 for an ambulance.
Councillor Ernie White, Leicestershire County Council cabinet member for health, said: “Button batteries can be extremely hazardous to young children and we are pleased to be working with Leicester City Council to ensure parents and carers are aware of the dangers.”
Deputy city mayor, Cllr Adam Clarke, who leads on health for the city, added: “It’s very important that everyone understands what a serious risk these batteries can pose to young children, which is why we’re all working together to raise awareness at a time of year when toys or games with these batteries may be bought as gifts.”
Top tips to ensure batteries are kept away from children:
• Keep products with button batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secure with a screw;
Button batteries can be safely recycled at the councils’ recycling and household waste sites.
For information on locations and opening times visit www.leicester.gov.uk and search ‘recycling centres’ for those in the city or www.leicestershire.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/waste-and-recycling for county sites .