Health warning over button batteries risk

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Public health officials are urging people 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.

Officers say children are particularly at risk as they may mistake a button battery for a sweet.

The campaign is being backed by Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council.

Public health consultant Jasmine Murphy said: “We know these small batteries are often used to power children’s toys. 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. This can lead to severe burns, bleeding and even death.

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

People are being warned to keep products with button batteries well out of reach if the battery compartment isn’t secure with a screw. They’re advised to lock away spare batteries and ensure used batteries are disposed of correctly. They can be recycled safely at any of the county council’s 14 sites - including Lake Terrace in Melton. Battery recycling points can also often be found at supermarkets and shops where batteries are sold.