Button Batteries

“It turns out this is one of the most damaging and dangerous things that my beautiful boy could have ever swallowed. It does not get much worse than this.” - Mother of an 8 month-old baby boy


Image credit: CALHAM HILL. The button battery was stuck in Sofia-Grace's food pipe for four months.

The BBC recently reported how 11-month-old Sofia-Grace was admitted to hospital after struggling to breathe, drink or eat solid food. 

She underwent two-hour surgery to remove a flat button battery from her food pipe. It had been there for four months. 

She still has to return to hospital every two weeks for procedures to repair the damage and faces the prospect of further surgery. 

But Sofia-Grace was lucky. Had the battery been fully charged, it could have triggered a chemical reaction burning through her food pipe and causing catastrophic bleeding.

The danger posed to young children by powerful lithium coin cell batteries cannot be underestimated. Our video shows the damage a fully-charged battery can do.


Find out how to keep children safe. Learn more about:

Download this leaflet produced by the Office for Product Safety and Standards as a helpful reminder.


More information

If you work with parents, you’ll find lots more to share in the button battery area of our website including videos, photos, illustrations, social media assets and free educational resources.