Button battery safety in the home

Summary: These button batteries can seriously injure or kill a child.

Published: 19 September 2016


These are button batteries. You may not know it, but just one of these can seriously injure or kill a child. There are many types of---

So this what the fuss is about? Small, hey?

They are small, and that’s part of the problem.  In Australia, around 20 children a week visit an emergency room because of injuries related to button batteries.

20 a week? Wow.

If a child swallows a button battery it can get stuck and burn through soft tissue, causing internal bleeding in as little as two hours.

All because of this? For such a tiny object, they can be a big issue.

But, parents and carers can make safe choices to reduce the risks when buying electronic devices for the home.
Check that battery compartments are completely sealed, require two movements to open, or have other securing features.

Like one that’s shut tight with a screw?

That’s right.

Kids get into everything. They’re like little safecrackers.

This is true. That’s why, ideally, you should also keep products that use button batteries out of reach of young children.

Like on a high shelf or cupboard

Correct. Out of sight. And keep remote controls and keys with remote locking fobs out of the way too.

When you purchase button batteries--

Ah, that’s easy! Make sure the packaging is child resistant, and that they’re kept away from little fingers.

Very good.

Nailed it!

Hey, Voiceover person.


What about old batteries – are they dangerous?

Good question. Flat batteries are still dangerous. Never leave them where children can get hold of them, and make sure you dispose of them responsibly. Check if battery recycling is available in your area.

Thought so.

Many items in the home use button batteries, so be aware of these to ensure children in your home are safe.


Even musical greeting cards use button—

Even musical greeting cards use—


That’s okay. So what are you going to do with all those batteries now?

I’m going to pack them away, out of reach.

If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, call the Poisons Information Centre immediately on 13 11 26.

Visit the ACCC product safety website for more information.

And please stop that.