"Last day of Summer" to warn of battery danger

IN MEMORY: Summer Steer died after swallowing a tiny “button” battery.
IN MEMORY: Summer Steer died after swallowing a tiny “button” battery. Contributed

THE last day of summer will be used to celebrate the life of a Tewantin girl who died after swallowing a "coin battery" and to raise awareness to try to stop it from happening to another child.

Summer Steer, aged 4, died in July 2013 after swallowing one of the batteries, which burnt through her oesophagus and into her aorta, causing catastrophic bleeding.

Kidsafe Queensland has declared tomorrow Summer's Day.

Members of the public are invited to sail, paddle, or motor alongside the Noosa ferry as it leaves the Sheraton at 10am to arrive at the Noosa Marina at 10.45am.

Participants are asked to wear a rainbow of colours to make the flotilla as bright as possible.

Kidsafe Queensland's Susan Teerds said about 10 children were admitted to hospital in Australia every week after swallowing the "coin" or "button" batteries.

She urged people to be careful when disposing of the batteries, as kids can pick them up from the ground and even out of the kitchen tidy.

Ms Teerds said medical staff also had to be vigilant as the batteries were often not obvious on x-rays and the symptoms were vague at first.

Summer's mother, Andrea, who will be on the ferry on Saturday, said the batteries were deadly.

"I hear all the time that people think this is about children choking," she said.

"The reality is they cannot x-ray all children and the symptoms are like the flu so hours can be wasted before the real cause is found.

"If you even suspect your child has swallowed something - tell the doctors.

"There are some days when I just can't get out of bed I am still so beside myself with grief, but this campaign has given me something to focus on."

Topics:  summer summer steer

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