Melton Rotary Club recently hosted a special buest speaker which Vijay Sursala (Rotary Caroline Springs) attended.
(Exract from Melton Rotary Club Bulleti)
Allison Rees is spreading the word about the danger of button batteries being swallowed by children. Her little daughter Isabella was 14 months old when she swallowed a button battery. After 19 days and several GP and hospital visits she died from chemical burns which finally ate through her aorta.  
Allison asked herself how she could not know that this could happen. Where did it come from? She searched for a missing battery and couldn’t find one. She had trouble accepting that she didn’t know. Shouldn’t she have known the signs and symptoms? She’d never heard of button battery injury.
Allison suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. Would people blame her? What if they asked how Bella died, what would she say?
She decided that she would do everything possible to make people aware of the danger.
Batteries were displayed on floor to ceiling racks in Target. The button batteries were at the bottom. Child height. No warnings, even though the packaging said ‘keep away from children’. The cardboard backing is perforated for ease of extraction. Nobody said they were dangerous, they were displayed next to the lollies at the checkout. Allison wrote to the Managing Director and within 48 hours the displays were changed and the protocols for the future were altered in all stores.
Knowledge is very powerful.
How many products contain button batteries? They’re often easy to access, for instance in car keys and hearing aids, musical birthday cards and remote-controlled toys. There are no warnings. They need to be secured with screws or other locking devices.
20 children per week in Australia swallow button batteries, many have to undergo invasive procedures to remove them or suffer permanent injuries. Allison in Victoria and Andrea in Queensland began their campaign to change things after the death of their daughters. They didn’t just complain about the problem, they offered practical solutions. 100,000 people have accessed their social media. Button battery safety laws were introduced after the story aired on Australian Story in 2021. The program was watched by 2.3 million people, their biggest audience ever.
The rate of injury has dropped dramatically but sadly another child has died.
Australia has introduced world-first warnings and medical advice on new products. Batteries must be secured and sold in child resistant packaging.
Battery and toy manufacturers are about bottom-line profits. They’re not really interested in changing designs.
If the batteries are not secured STOP BUYING THEM.