Girl dies after swallowing battery from remote control

Girl dies after swallowing battery from remote control
Battery ingestion ‘a very clear’ public health concern, says coroner

Parents have been warned about the dangers of button batteries, following the death of a two-year-old girl who ingested one.

Harper-Lee Farnthorpe died on 23 May at Royal Stoke University Hospital, shortly after swallowing a battery from a remote control.

An inquest ruled that her death had been an accident, with North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barley saying battery ingestion was “a very clear concern” in public health. “It has affected lots of children,” he explained.

In a recent newsletter, Staffordshire Safeguarding Children’s Board (SSCB) mentioned the tragedy to highlight the danger presented by batteries.

“Batteries react with saliva and if a child swallows a button battery it can burn holes and cause internal bleeding, or even death,” SSCB wrote.

“Tragically, a young child in Staffordshire has recently died from ingesting a button battery,” it added.

Speaking at the inquest, Harper-Lee’s mother Stacey Niklin said she was at work when her older daughter called her to say her younger sister was vomiting blood.

Harper-Lee, whose funeral was on Tuesday, died in surgery after being taken to hospital.

Her mother said: “Harper-Lee was into everything and developing well, there were no concerns for her. She was full of life and loved by everyone. She had a tendency to put things in her mouth.”

Dave Evans, a local council member, told StokeonTrentLive that everyone’s thoughts were with Harper-Lee’s family.

“We will be working closely with all our partners to raise awareness of the dangers of button batteries to try to prevent this happening again,” he said.