New button battery campaign to keep children safe

THE death of a Sunshine Coast girl who swallowed a button battery has been the catalyst for a new initiative to keep children safe.

Summer Steer (pictured) was four years of age in 2013 when she died after swallowing a button-sized lithium battery.

The campaign has been launched after the Coroner recommended steps be taken to ensure other youngsters were protected.

About four children are taken to Queensland emergency departments every week with a button battery-related injury.

Kidsafe Qld CEO Susan Teerds said the awareness campaign would run early in 2016 to improve awareness of the dangers of children ingesting small, coin-sized button batteries.

Should button batteries be banned in children's toys?

This poll ended on 28 December 2015.

Current Results

Yes. It's not worth the risk.

44%

No. It should be up to parents to choose suitable toys and supervise play.

22%

A safer small battery should be developed.

33%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"This Christmas, children everywhere will be unwrapping gifts likely to include button batteries surrounded by family who could be completely unaware of the potential danger these tiny, shiny pieces pose to them," she said.

It was a community responsibility to safely store and dispose of button batteries and one that should be regarded seriously.

Summer Steer's mother, Andrea Shoesmith, said the initiative would help better inform Queensland families of the silent but deadly impact of button battery ingestion.

"What happened to our family can happen to anyone at any time," she said.

"This campaign represents a crucial investment in growing awareness so families can take what precautions they can to lessen the risk for their children.

"If this campaign can prevent even one family suffering tragedy like ours has, then it will have done its job."



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