Button Batteries

Button Batteries are a serious risk! 
In Australia, 20 children present to an emergency department each week from a button battery ingestion or insertion. 

When swallowed, these small button batteries can get stuck in a child's throat and cause severe burns and long term damage to the airways. Children under the age of 5 years are at the greatest risk. Across Australia, around 20 children a week present to an emergency department with a button battery related injury.



We use electronic devices every day without giving them a second thought. But there is a hidden danger inside many small electronic devices that all parents and carers need to know about. Powerful coin-sized button batteries can be found in many household devices such as car remotes, electronic candles, watches, singing greeting cards and other electronic devices. Often these can be easily accessed - even by a child.


To prevent button battery related death and injury:

  • Look for any items in your house that may contain a lithium button battery
  • Place these devices up out of reach of small children
  • Lock away any loose or spare batteries
  • Dispose of the batteries immediately and safely

Safe Disposal 

Old or spent button batteries can still pose a threat, so safely dispose of them immediately.

It is a good idea to wrap both sides of the battery in sticky tape. This will make it harder for children to swallow the battery and it will also reduce the risk of injury.

Dispose of button batteries in an outside bin, out of reach of children, or recycle them safely.

Urgent Action Required

If you suspect a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, call the Poisons Informational Centre on 13 11 26 immediately.



For more information on button batteries visit our resources tab.