It is nearly 10 years since the button battery-related death of Summer Steer and today another little girl lies in intensive care having been flown across the state for life saving surgery to remove yet another button battery.
There has been much media focus on the failure of Mackay Base Hospital to recognise that Amity Buchanan had swallowed a button battery and that it was lodged like a time bomb in her oesophagus.
Her father reports social media backlash that she was able to access an ‘unsecured battery’.
Despite detailed Coronial recommendations following Summer’s inquest in 2015 and years of advocacy to implement these recommendations……..it still comes down to this. Industry are still making button batteries, companies are still selling button batteries, and we are still buying them.
No amount of parental supervision, regulation or regulator enforcement will stop this issue until we eliminate the problem; button batteries that kill children.
It is hard to comprehend that we, as a society, can plan to send a manned mission to Mars, yet cannot solve a 40 year old design failure with button batteries, until one realises that this cannot be for lack of invention or expertise, but could only be due to a lack of resolve.
This injury could happen to anyone.
This presentation could be missed by anyone, including me.
It is time to show we mean business. Boycott the button battery.
Dr Ruth Barker, MBBS, FRACPaeds
Kidsafe Qld President