We recently reported on the devastating story of an eight-month-old baby who will “remain without a voice” after swallowing a battery, and yet another report has highlighted why we need to be so vigilant when it comes to this issue.


A court in Pretoria has heard how a two-year-old child, Alice Swanepoel, died after succumbing to the injuries she suffered from swallowing a small, round battery of the variety usually found in watches, remote control handsets and some toys.


The child had been playing when she is believed to have swallowed the battery. She went on to complain of throat and chest pain for two weeks, with her mother bringing her to the doctor on a number of occasions over her ailments.


Tragically, Alice died shortly after from her injuries, with the battery acid eating at her oesophagus and causing a tear in an artery.


An inquest into her death ruled that it was a tragic accident and that nobody could be held responsible for it.


Commenting on the horrific incident at the inquest this week, Magistrate Pierre Wessels at the Pretoria North Magistrate’s Court said: “How many times did my own children play with batteries? It could have happened in my house."


What a tragic case, and one which highlights just how vital an issue toy safety and play supervision is with our little ones.