4-Year-Old Dies After Swallowing Lithium Battery

A SUNSHINE Coast girl has died from stomach bleeding after swallowing a lithium battery.

The four-year-old was taken to Noosa Hospital early Sunday.

She was transferred to Royal Brisbane Hospital but could not be saved.

Susan Teerds from Kidsafe Queensland says the button-shaped batteries are found in many common household items, and parents must be vigilant.

“When a child swallows a battery it often gets caught in the oesophagus, around the voice box. Once it’s been lodged, within an hour, it will start to burn a hole,” she said.

“The saliva actually starts a chemical reaction and burns a hole through the oesophagus and can keep burning a hole into the aorta, through to the spine and whatever else is there.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has safety information and videos on its website.

“When swallowed, small coin-sized lithium button batteries can get stuck in a child’s throat and cause severe burns or death,” its website says.


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