A Conservative MP has warned of the “dangers” of button batteries in toys and other items following the “tragic death” of a toddler in her constituency.
Jo Gideon called on Parliament to “legislate for a minimum safety standard for all products”.
The MP for Stoke-on-Trent Central urged “both parents and grandparents to be aware of the dangers of button batteries” amid the “countdown to Christmas”.
Since the tragic death of toddler Harper-Lee Fanthorpe in my constituency last year, I've been campaigning with her mother Stacy for greater awareness of button battery dangers— Jo Gideon, MP
Speaking in the Commons, she said: “Since the tragic death of toddler Harper-Lee Fanthorpe in my constituency last year, I’ve been campaigning with her mother Stacy for greater awareness of button battery dangers.
“As we start the countdown to Christmas, shops everywhere will be selling products, not just toys, but lighting, decorations with button batteries in them.
“Would the Leader of the House join me in urging both parents and grandparents to be aware of the dangers of button batteries, if the products are unsafe, and retailers not to sell them.
“Would she also make parliamentary time to have a debate around what more we can do both to raise awareness of button batteries and possibly to legislate for a minimum safety standard for all products.”
Responding, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt said: “(She) has provided in part an answer to her question because by raising this today she has provided information to those listening to this debate and news outlets that people do need to be aware of the tragedies that can happen if children swallow and eat these batteries.
“But I will also ask the Cabinet Office if there is any communications going out on public information channels about this issue and I thank her for the service she has done today.”
Ms Gideon presented her Button Batteries (Safety) Bill in July 2021.