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The Battery Controlled – Button battery safety

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When swallowed, small coin-sized lithium button batteries can get stuck in a child's throat and cause severe burns or death. Order your fact card and poster for more information, including safety tips.

In a joint safety campaign, Energizer, Kidsafe, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission warn parents about the dangers of small coin-sized lithium button batteries.


If a child swallows a button battery, the battery can get stuck in the child's throat and burn through the oesophagus in as little as two hours. Repair can require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries.

Children under five years old are at the greatest risk.

Hunter's Story - A Boy Who Swallowed a Lithium Battery

Injury cases

In Australia, two children have died from button battery related injuries. Each week, an estimated 20 children visit an emergency department for removal or treatment of a swallowed or inserted button battery.

The most serious cases involve 10 cent-sized batteries, but all sizes can be dangerous.

Safety tips

Take Charge. Act Now.

  1. Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach.
  2. Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure.
  3. Dispose of used button batteries immediately. Flat batteries can still be dangerous.
  4. If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately go to a hospital emergency room. Do not let the child eat or drink and do not induce vomiting.
  5. Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for additional treatment information.
  6. Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe.


More information

Fact card and poster now available for ordering.

Order our poster and fact card for more information. Visit and join the conversation globally on Twitter @batterycontrol & on The Battery Controlled Facebook page.

You can also join the conversation with us on Twitter @ACCCProdSafety or via our ACCC Product Safety Facebook page.

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