Warning after toddler swallows watch battery and needs surgery

The battery became lodged in Sofia-Grace's throat and had to be removed during an operation. Credit: Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

Medics at a Bristol hospital are warning parents of the dangers of small batteries found in Christmas presents - after one toddler ended up in surgery.

Little Sofia-Grace required medical intervention after swallowing a small watch battery, which became lodged in her throat.

It was discovered after dad Calham noticed something was wrong with his daughter’s breathing, and she started having problems with her food and drink.

The battery was the size of a 10 pence coin but doctors say such items - often found in Christmas toys - can be dangerous.

Sofia-Grace is now on the mend. Credit: Bristol Royal Hospital for Children

A hospital spokesperson explained: “A child may not show symptoms if a battery or magnet is swallowed or ingested but it can have severe consequences if not treated or attended to by medical teams quickly.

“The newer neodymium magnets are much stronger than normal magnets and are found in many household objects and toys.

“When more than one magnet or a magnet and another metal object is swallowed, it can cause significant damage to the bowel."

Sofia-Grace had an operation at the hospital to remove the battery and a subsequent operation and treatments to care for her injuries.

She had a tube fitted to help her with her feeding and to stop her throat from closing completely.

Dad Calham, who is from Wiltshire, said he is unsure how Sofia-Grace got hold of the battery but is relieved she is now on the mend.

Parents are advised to be aware of the dangers posed by such items and devices, and to keep all batteries or small magnets out of a child’s reach.

If a parent suspects their child has swallowed a battery or magnet, they are advised to call 999 or attend the hospital’s emergency department.

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