Babies and toddlers can easily swallow, inhale
or choke on small items like balloons,
batteries, peanuts, buttons, plastic toy pieces,
strings or cords.
Check on the floor and under furniture for
Check that toys are age appropriate and in
Find out more about CPR (a first aid
technique that is a combination of rescue
breaths and chest compressions.
Sometimes called the kiss of life).
WHAT TO DO:
If your child is choking act immediately and
calmly. Make sure you do not push the object
further down the throat. Encourage your child
to cough. Use back blows, if they become
unconscious call for help (do not leave your
child alone) and start CPR.
My young child is choking what should I do?
Why are button batteries dangerous?
Button batteries and lithium coin batteries are
the small, round batteries you find in lots of toys
and everyday objects. They can be extremely
dangerous for children if swallowed - especially
lithium coin batteries - and can kill within hours.
Most button batteries pass through the body
without a problem. But if a button battery,
particularly a lithium coin battery, gets stuck in
the throat or gullet, energy from the battery can
make the body create caustic soda (the
chemical used to unblock drains!). This can burn
a hole through the throat and lead to serious
internal bleeding and death.
Keep products with batteries well out of reach
if the battery compartment isn’t secured with a
Keep all spare batteries out of children’s reach
and sight, ideally in a high-up, lockable
Avoid toys from markets or temporary shops
as they may not conform to safety regulations.
Teach older children that button batteries are
dangerous and not to play with them or give
them to younger brothers and sisters.
WHAT TO DO:
Unfortunately it may not be obvious that a battery
is stuck in a child’s throat. They may be breathing
normally, or simply develop cold or flu-like
symptoms. If you suspect your child has
swallowed a button battery, act fast.
Take them straight to the A&E department at
your local hospital or call 999 for an
Tell the doctor there that you think your child
has swallowed a button battery.
Do not let your child eat or drink.
Do not make them sick.
Do not wait to see if any symptoms develop.