Toddler dies after swallowing battery

Last updated 21:25 01/07/2013

DEADLY: Children are at great risk if they swallow lithium batteries.

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A child has died after swallowing a  lithium battery on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The toddler was flown to the Royal Brisbane Hospital in a critical condition after swallowing the battery on Sunday, the  department of community safety says.

The child from Tewantin, who is believed to be aged three or four, died on Monday.

Susan Teerds from Kidsafe Queensland told ABC radio the button-shaped batteries are found in many common household items.

‘‘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.’’

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