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Australia Safety concerns over button batteries in wristbands handed out at AFL grand final

04:30  26 october  2020
04:30  26 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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Wristbands containing button batteries handed out at the AFL grand final on Saturday night in Brisbane have raised serious concerns for child safety , Kidsafe The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is working on a recommendation for mandatory regulation of button batteries .

Cricket fans are being advised to throw away promotional wristbands handed out at matches this month, after a While nationally, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said about 20 children presented to emergency each week, from ingesting or inserting button batteries .

a hand holding a remote control: Kidsafe Queensland's CEO says she can't believe marketing professionals think that © Provided by ABC News Kidsafe Queensland's CEO says she can't believe marketing professionals think that "these useless little flashing devices are appropriate". (ABC News: Lily Nothling)

Wristbands containing button batteries handed out at the AFL grand final on Saturday night in Brisbane have raised serious concerns for child safety, Kidsafe Queensland says.

Jesani Catchpoole found the wristband device on her kitchen bench the next morning, after her husband brought it home from the game.

"I'm a mum with three boys and I also work at the Queensland Injuries Surveillance Unit where we normally look at emergency department data and pick up a few issues around injuries, especially for the kids," she said.

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Wristbands handed out at Sydney's Taronga Zoo during Vivid containing deadly button batteries have prompted a warning to parents urging them to bin the dangerous bands before their children are hurt or injured. According to NSW Fair Trading, children can suffer from 'serious health issues' if the

"The button battery is one of the things we looked at and we know how dangerous it is.

"It scares me that it was so easy to remove the button batteries, but I was kind of grateful that I was the first one who saw it — not the kids — because I knew it would take them a few seconds."

She said the idea that thousands of people could have taken them home scared her too.

"When I asked my husband, how many people had this? Are you the only one who had it? — and he said everybody had it," she said.

Last week the Conway family, from the Gold Coast, publicly told of their heartbreak after their three-year-old daughter Brittney died after swallowing a button battery.

Brittney was the third Australian child to die after swallowing a button battery since 2013.

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The family said they hope for urgent government changes to regulate the use of the batteries.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is working on a recommendation for mandatory regulation of button batteries.

Twenty children are taken to hospital every week suspected of swallowing a button battery and three children have died since 2013.

Kidsafe Queensland CEO Susan Teerds said the devices at the AFL were a prime example of why legislation was needed.

""We've been looking at this for seven years … we've done a lot of campaigns," he said.

"I still can't believe that marketing people think that these useless little flashing devices are appropriate to put out into the public space where they could cause the death or serious injury of a child," she said.

"If you consider there might have been 30,000 attendees … that's 60,000 batteries that are killers, out in the public."

Ms Teerds had a warning for anyone who attended the game.

"Find the wristband, do not take the batteries out, and put it in the bin," she said.

"If you know anybody who attended the AFL grand final you need to contact them immediately because this is a very urgent, life-threatening situation."

Ms Catchpole also urged people to be careful.

"I know that the AFL grand final is probably once in a lifetime experience for many people, including my husband," she said.

"Keep it out of reach from kids, please."

The AFL has been contacted for comment.

Emergency recall of wristbands given out at AFL Grand Final .
Product Safety Australia issued an immediate product recall on Tuesday, saying the bands could lead to 'serious illness and even death'.Product Safety Australia issued an immediate product recall on Tuesday, saying the bands could lead to 'serious illness and even death'.

usr: 7
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