Friends paint farewell for Summer after battery tragedy

CHILDREN from Tewantin Early Learning Centre will farewell their classmate through colourful paintings to be displayed at her funeral on Friday.

Summer Steer, a four-year-old from Tewantin, died on Sunday afternoon after swallowing a lithium button-sized battery. 

Tewantin Early Learning Centre owner John Keast said he had already visited Summer's family, including her older brother, to offer support, "a big hug and a cry".

"The mother is doing what she can," he said.

"Obviously she's incredibly distressed and fluctuates from understanding, albeit emotionally."

To show how much Summer will be missed, her kindy classmates of almost two years will put paint brush to paper.

"They'll do a painting to express their feelings towards Summer that can be taken to the funeral," Mr Keast said.

Summer will be remembered as an effervescent and exciting little girl.

In the midst of a sad day yesterday, Mr Keast and the children ran around, playing various games, as they did every day with Summer.

"Summer used to love standing on my instep (foot), with me walking and holding her hands," he said.

"She was just a lovely little girl, looking forward to the rest of her life, enjoying it as it came and doing all things and everything. She was engaging, fun and smiley, all things you love a four-year-old to be."

An email was sent to parents telling them of the sad news, and asking them to talk to their children about battery safety.

Tips for keeping your kids safe from batteries

Summer's family urged parents to remain vigilant, warning that what happened to their little girl could happen to anyone.

"Sadly what occurred could have happened to anyone with small children, and we sincerely hope that this tragedy will act as a warning to all parents," the parents said in a statement.

"Remain vigilant, and if you are in any doubt seek medical assistance immediately."

The family thanked all medical staff and helicopter crew who treated Summer at the Noosa and Royal Brisbane and Women's hospitals.

Summer was extremely brave all the way through her ordeal and they hoped her memory would live on to prevent this tragedy happening to any other family.

Her Tewantin childcare centre is planning a fundraiser to raise awareness about the number of children ingesting batteries.

Topics:  battery child safety editors picks parents summer warning

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