A dad has shared the heartbreaking story of the death of his two-year-old daughter after she swallowed a tiny button battery.
To mark Child Safety Week, George Asan, from Hampshire, relieved the trauma of his daughter’s death, which occurred after the battery she swallowed burned through her throat, causing fatal internal bleeding, during an emotional video made in partnership with the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT).
In the 4-minute clip, George explains that he felt ‘guilty,’ ‘because at that point in time I didn’t follow my instincts.’
‘Unfortunately we didn’t see anything wrong, no signs. We found that it was a button battery and straight away I went to the cabinet and we had the 3D glasses for the TV,’ he says, holding back tears.
‘It was one of the spare batteries, from the original box of the glasses, which was in another box. I don’t think in any parent’s mind, this is the first thing they’d look for.’
A series of experts also appear in the video to raise awareness of the ways in which button batteries are a hidden, but very real, danger to small children.
Ashley Pugh, a visiting healthcare practitioner who works with the Trust, says: ‘With button batteries, one of the risks is choking; another risk is the fact that, when they come into contacts with bodily fluid and liquid, they actually start to corrode the flesh. So if they come into contact with flesh or the stomach wall, within two hours they can cause very sever injuries and even death.’
She continues: ‘Not a lot of people are aware of the dangers of button batteries, and they are found in so many household items, such as key-fobs, remote controls, children’s toys, watches – and also in musical greetings cards.’
Kristine McCarthy, from the CAPT, also points out that button batteries are also commonly found in thermometers, which by their very nature spend a lot of time in children’s mouths, and that the battery compartment is almost entirely exposed.
As ever, it’s important to remain vigilant with young children around small objects – keep them high up or locked away.
The CAPT website advises that it’s not always obvious to tell your child has swallowed a battery: ‘There are no specific symptoms associated with this. They may appear to have a stomach upset or a virus. Symptoms may include tiredness, loss of appetite, pain and nausea.’
If you suspect your child might be at risk, act fast; take them to an A&E department straight away.