Babies and toddlers love to explore the world around them with their mouths, but this can lead to dangerous consequences when it comes to lithium batteries.
A leading peadiatrician has warned of the dangers of lithium batteries, which can be mistaken for small round sweets, after two children swallowed them and died in Manchester.
The batteries, the largest of which is the size of a ten pence piece, can be found in toys, keys and smartphones and if digested can cause severe internal bleeding or even death within a few hours.
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They also do not have to be crushed, chewed or broken to cause damage.
Dr Kate Parkins, a lead consultant for the region's Paediatric Intensive Care Transport Service, is calling for a national campaign to highlight the dangers.
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‘They look innocent enough and therefore nobody thinks to put them out of reach from children,’ she told the BBC.
‘It's not what's inside the battery,’ she explained. ‘The battery sets up an electrical current which causes a build-up of sodium hydroxide which is caustic soda.
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‘That causes a burn through the oesophagus, the feeding tube, and that can then burn through into major blood vessels and that's why the bleeding is then pretty much impossible to control and stop,’ she added.
‘Two deaths is too many as far as we're concerned. Two or three patients having severe injuries is too many when it's something potentially preventable,’ she concluded.