Today, Rebecca Harris MP pledged to become ‘button battery aware’ at the Westminster launch of The Harper Lee Foundation. The launch of the Foundation coincided with Child Safety Week and gave Rebecca the opportunity to learn more about button and coin battery safety and hear about the work that the portable battery industry, charities, and the Government are doing together in order to raise awareness of the risks associated with swallowing these types of batteries and reduce the likelihood of these incidents occurring.
Button and coin cell batteries are small batteries that are used to power a range of everyday items including car key fobs, remote controls, and children’s toys. However, if swallowed, the larger coin cell batteries in particular can badly injure or kill a child. At the reception Rebecca signed the ‘button battery pledge’, which pledges to raise awareness of the risks associated with button and coin cell ingestion in Castle Point.
The Harper Lee Foundation was established last year in response to the death of Harper-Lee Fanthorpe, who passed away after swallowing one of these batteries at her home in Stoke on Trent. The charity works with Government, battery manufacturers, retailers, educators, charities and health professionals to reduce the risk to children of accidents and death from foreign body ingestion such as button and coin battery ingestion.
MPs and guests also heard from representatives from the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), the UK’s leading child safety charity, who detailed the work that the charity is doing, alongside the British and Irish Portable Battery Association (BIPBA).
Rebecca Harris MP commented:
“I was delighted to attend this event in Parliament to raise the profile of the work of the Harper Lee Foundation, so that communities across the United Kingdom will become more aware of the danger of button battery ingestion.”
“I signed a pledge to raise awareness in Castle Point, so that we can avoid more tragic deaths and injuries from button battery and coin cell ingestion by children.”
Chris Speight from BIPBA commented:
“As an industry we are taking button and coin cell safety seriously. Through our work with partners such as CAPT and with the help of Government and groups like the Harper Lee Foundation, we are not just working hard to raise awareness of the risks associated with these types of batteries but we are working to reduce the number of ingestion incidents occurring.
Ahead of Button Battery Awareness Day, this Sunday 12 June, we were very pleased to see so many MPs pledge to become button battery aware, and we hope that they take the message of battery safety back to their constituencies.”
For more information on button and coin cell safety please visit: https://www.capt.org.uk/button-battery-safety. More information on the Harper Lee Foundation can be found at: https://harperleefoundation.org.uk/.