REAL LIFE

Surgeon warns parents over deadly button batteries

They might be tiny, but they can do huge damage
7 News: Baby Hunter, who suffered acid burns to his throat

A surgeon has warned parents over a common household item that could prove deadly to children.

Each week, 20 Aussie youngsters are hospitalised after swallowing button batteries, found in bathroom scales, some remotes, toys and watches.

Dr John Curotta, an ear, nose and throat specialist, has warned the batteries can quickly damage soft tissue if eaten. 

7 News: Button battery in six-year-old boy’s chest
Getty image: Button batteries found in many household items

He told 7 News, ‘If they go into your gullet and get stuck there, the secretions act like caustic soda.

‘We’ve had two children die in Australia from the battery eroding through and the child bleeding to death.’

The batteries can burn through flesh and cause severe problems in just two hours.

7 News: Baby Hunter, who suffered acid burns to his throat

One child, a baby called Hunter, recently lost half his oesophagus after swallowing a battery.

And another, a six-year-old boy, was taken to hospital after telling his dad he’d ingested a battery, which showed up when he was given an x-ray.

Most children rushed to hospital after ingesting a battery are under six years old.

Product Safety Australia has launched a campaign to highlight the dangers of the batteries.

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