Button cell battery warning issued this Christmas

The small batteries commonly used in toys are dangerous if swallowed

Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

Christmas in Limerick

Batteries are very dangerous if swallowed.

A pre-Christmas warning to parents about the dangers of lithium button cell batteries.

These are used to power many children’s toys but are highly dangerous if accidentally swallowed.

The festive period can typically see a rise in the number of these small, button-shaped batteries introduced to the home as they are contained in many toys, musical Christmas cards, remote controls and a host of other electronic items.

If undetected, button cell batteries can do serious damage to the gastrointestinal system. Lithium batteries react with saliva, setting up an electrical current which results in a build-up of caustic soda, which will burn through the oesophagus and major blood vessels.

There are a few simple things that can be done to help protect young children from the dangers of button cell batteries.

Battery compartments should be checked to make sure they can’t be opened or broken easily and parents need to ensure that battery compartments are screwed shut when possible

You should also keep spare batteries in a safe place out of reach of children.