Focus on: Button battery safety
These tiny, button-shaped batteries are found in a range of gadgets and household items year-round. But in the lead up to Christmas, the risk of a child getting hold of them, and potentially ingesting them, escalates. Novelty items such as flashing and musical Santa hats, Christmas cards, fake tea lights (flameless candles) and decorations all flood the market and make their way into our homes. Unfortunately, these just the kind of items that children adore playing with.
Button batteries are also found in many children’s toys and books. But while batteries in children’s products are covered by safety regulations (they are required to have a screwed-down cover) novelty items of the sort found at Christmas aren’t, and so may pose a bigger risk to children:
If a button battery is swallowed and gets stuck in the throat or gullet, the electrical charge from a button battery creates caustic soda inside the body. This can burn a hole through the throat and can lead to serious internal bleeding and death.
Remember, for toys, batteries should either be enclosed by a screw and a secure compartment or need two independent or simultaneous movements to open the battery compartment. But remember that older children may still be able to open secure battery compartments.