Mother issues warning to parents after her daughter, 3, swallowed a button battery from a toy wand when the cover snapped
- Chantelle Bortlam, 20, rushed daughter to the Royal Stoke University Hospital
- READ MORE: What to do if your child swallows a lithium button battery
A little girl is lucky to be alive – after swallowing a button battery from a toy wand.
Lexi Mai Bortlam – who turns three today – swallowed the battery on Monday night.
Haunted by the death of fellow Stoke-on-Trent resident Harper-Lee Fanthorpe in similar circumstances, Lexi Mai’s mother Chantelle Bortlam, 20, rushed her daughter to the Royal Stoke University Hospital where an x-ray revealed the penny-size battery in her stomach.
Medics gave Lexi Mai honey to try to create a protective barrier between the battery and her stomach.
She has now been given the all-clear after the battery reappeared in her nappy on Wednesday.
Chantelle had turned their home upside down after noticing the plastic battery cover on a toy wand had snapped and one of the three batteries was missing. It was then that Lexi Mai pointed to her mouth.
Chantelle Bortlam and three-year-old Lexi Mai Bortlam from Stoke-on-Trent. Lixi Mai swallowed a button battery from a toy wand after the battery door snapped
Lexi noticing the plastic battery cover on a toy wand had snapped and one of the three batteries was missing
The button battery that was in Lexi Mai’s stomach came out corroded and black and green
It comes after fellow Stoke-on-Trent mum, Stacy-Marie Nicklin, lost two-year-old daughter Harper-Lee Fanthorpe in May 2021 after she swallowed a button battery from a remote control.
Chantelle said: ‘My heart just went, I was really in tears. I had heard about Harper-Lee. It is difficult, with hearing of another child swallowing a battery and dying.
‘My family were all constantly messaging and stressing, I was in tears.’
She added: ‘I was watching her 24/7. Every time she had a poo, I checked her nappy, the second time, it did come out.
Chantelle blasted the ‘unsafe’ toy after the battery door snapped with the screw still in the toy
Lexi Mai in hospital. Her worried mother rushed her daughter to Royal Stoke University Hospital, after hearing about another local child who died from swallowing a button battery
‘The state that the battery was in when it came out really worried me. It was corroded and black and green.
‘It was terrifying. They said that if it hadn’t come out and it had got jammed, they would have had to talk to the consultant and find out what the next step was going to be. It could have ended up in a different situation.
How to protect your children from button battery incidents
NHS England advises parents to:
Make sure that toys and other products using button batteries, such as small electronic devices, have lockable battery compartments. This should mean that they are safe for children to use as the batteries are locked away.
Be extra vigilant with items including musical greeting cards, flameless candles and remote controls as they do not have lockable compartments.
Ensure that spare batteries are locked away, and used batteries are disposed of correctly.
If a child swallows a battery, immediately take them to A&E.
For more information, head to the Harper-Lee Foundation website
‘The battery cover isn’t safe at all. The screw is still in the toy, the cover snapped.
‘Inside, the batteries weren’t even protected properly. It was horrible. All batteries out of all the toys have now been binned.’
In a warning, Chantelle added: ‘When kids are playing with toys, make sure the batteries are in them securely.
‘Toy stores need to look at the age ranges, this toy said 0-3, but it is not acceptable. These toys have loose parts, batteries exposed, they are not very safe for children at all, they should be 6+. They should not sell kids’ toys with button batteries in full stop.’
Stacy-Marie set up the Harper-Lee Foundation to raise awareness about the dangers of button batteries. She is campaigning for Harper-Lee’s Law to be introduced which calls for button batteries to be banned out of children’s goods such as toothbrushes, books and birthday cards.
Stacy-Marie said: ‘This is the second child in Stoke-on-Trent in two years that has swallowed a button battery. I know how that mum was feeling. Their family is very lucky, their little girl is OK. Mine passed away. Parents please check, check and check again.’
Child Accident Prevention Trust reports at least two children a year have died as a result of swallowing lithium coin cell batteries in this country.
Great Ormond Street Hospital reports that they see one child a month with significant internal burns caused by swallowing a button battery.
Data is unavailable for how many children are admitted to A&E after swallowing a button battery.
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