Find Dangerous Batteries That Can Kill Kids



Do you know if you have them?


  • Over the last 20 years, serious child ingestion accidents of button batteries have increased SEVENFOLD
  • 66% of parents in Barrow-in-Furness wouldn’t know what to do if their child ingested one and 24% have found their child playing with one
  • 60% in Barrow-in-Furness say their child has been able to open devices and get the battery by themselves
  • 11% of parents in Barrow-in-Furness have no idea if they have these types of dangerous batteries at home
  • These batteries look like shiny 5 pence pieces – and can be attractive to children
  • Join registered nurse, campaigner, and founder of First For Life Emma Hammetts to find out what you need to know, search for and what to do in an emergency week


A new public health campaign launches today encouraging parents to check for dangerous batteries in the home. These ones are small, shiny, and look appealing to children. But they can cause major injury if stuck in a child’s nose or ear, and possibly even death if swallowed.


Today, a new awareness campaign launches encouraging parents – alongside grandparents and caregivers –  in Barrow-in-Furness to check their gadgets for these batteries. They are also encouraged to understand what to do in an emergency situation.


Duracell, who has launched the campaign, has also released a replacement battery – which is covered in the world’s most bitter substance (Bitrex) to stop babies and toddlers ingesting.


As the number of everyday gadgets which need these batteries increases such as digital watches, thermometers, key fobs, and remote controls in our homes, the number of serious child ingestion accidents of button batteries is on the rise.


Over the last two decades, a sevenfold increase in severe illnesses due to button battery ingestions has been reported.


Button batteries can be fatal if ingested. Despite these dangers, research shows that a quarter (24%) in Barrow-in-Furness have found their child playing with one. 39% say that they have no idea where the battery came from. An additional 22% of parents say they have worried that their child has ingested one before.


That said, 66% of parents in Barrow-in-Furness say they wouldn’t know what to do if their child did ingest one.


TW: If a child swallows one it may get stuck in their oesophagus. The consequences of this can be serious: saliva may close an electrical circuit and the cell may release its current, damaging the surrounding tissue. Almost all (90%) of cell ingestions occur due to loose or in-device batteries and if not detected early enough, internal bleeding can occur, which could lead to a fatal outcome in as little as two hours.


Among children who swallowed button batteries, 60% in Barrow-in-Furness took the batteries out an electrical device by themselves.


And parents know they need to do more – over a third (42%) of parents feel they need to make more effort to securely store batteries in their home and over a third (40%) feel they could do more when it comes to making batteries difficult for children to get hold of. It is clear that children can gain access to them quickly and easily – so something needs to be done.


Since the pandemic, many children are spending more time with their grandparents and other caregivers than before. We are encouraging parents, grandparents and caregivers to spend time today to check their batteries, learn what to do in an emergency and, crucially, think about replacing them.


Emma Hammetts, a registered nurse and founder of First Aid For Life to find out what you need to search for, what to do in an emergency, and what you need to know.




  • Can you tell me what we need to look for?
  • What is the danger?
  • Why do companies use these batteries?
  • What should we do in an emergency?
  • What should we do if we have these batteries?
  • You are calling for grandparents to take note – why especially them?
  • Without going too gory, what happens to a child if they swallow a button battery?
  • Where can we go for more information?




  • Ensure you have located all the devices within your home that contain button batteries and placed these out of reach of children. As well as keeping spare batteries safely out of sight and reach and recycling used ones appropriately.
  • Keep dishwasher tablets and washing liquitabs securely out of reach of children, never leave them in the machine or under the sink.
  • Check blind cords are safely clipped up out of reach and don’t hang anything such as drawstring bags on the back of doors, or end of beds.
  • Double check your window locks and remove anything, that children can clamber onto to look out of the window.
  • Always empty bowls, paddling pools, baths, and other water containers after enjoying water play.
  • When cooking, use the back of the hob, and keep handles turned away from reach.
  • After using hair straighteners, curling tongs, and irons – keep them well out of reach, with their cords safely stored until they have completely cooled.
  • When filling the bath, always start with cold water and check the temperature carefully before allowing your child to get in
  • Keep hot drinks out of reach, a cup of tea or coffee that has cooled for 10 minutes, is still hot enough to burn a child.
  • Store medication in a locked cupboard, never leave them by the bed, and be vigilant about the possible contents of Granny’s handbag!



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