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Be aware of risks of button batteries

Published on Thursday, December 8, 2016

PEOPLE are being urged to be aware of the potential risks posed by button batteries.

The batteries, which are often found in toys and gadgets, can be extremely harmful if mistakenly swallowed.

Children are particularly at risk – for example, younger children may mistake a button battery for a sweet.

Dr Ivan Browne, deputy director of public health at Leicester City Council, said: “These small batteries are often used to power novelty children’s toys and other items such as remote controls, key fobs, musical books, flameless candles, watches and calculators.

“You can sometimes find them in objects where children could easily remove the batteries.

“It can be hard to recognise if a child has swallowed a button battery, but it is extremely serious, because the chemicals released by the battery can cause severe tissue damage, leading to severe burns, bleeding and even death.

“If you think a child may have swallowed one of these batteries, act quickly. Go straight to A&E for treatment.”

Parents should keep products with button batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secure with a screw. Make certain that spare batteries are locked away, and dispose of used batteries correctly.

Button cell batteries can be recycled safely at the city council’s household recycling centres, at Gypsum Close and Freemens Common.

Local battery recycling points can also often be found at supermarkets and shops where batteries are sold.