Devastated mum's plea after daughter, 2, dies from swallowing remote control battery

·2 min read
Two-year-old Harper-Lee Fanthorpe died after swallowing a remote control battery. (Reach)
Two-year-old Harper-Lee Fanthorpe died after swallowing a remote control battery. (Reach)

A devastated mother has warned other parents after her two-year-old daughter died from swallowing a remote control battery.

Toddler Harper-Lee Fanthorpe died in hospital in Stoke-on-Trent on 23 May after she swallowed a battery from a remote control.

An inquest into her death found that battery acid burned through her food pipe and into a major artery.

She was admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital after she started vomiting blood at home.

Harper-Lee Fanthorpe's mother, Stacey Nicklin, said she wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of button batteries. (BBC)
Harper-Lee Fanthorpe's mother, Stacey Nicklin, said she wanted to raise awareness of the dangers of button batteries. (BBC)

The inquest earlier this month heard that surgeons found a hole in the two-year-old’s oesophagus. She suffered cardiac arrhythmia during surgery and died.

Her death was recorded as accidental.

Her mother, Stacey Nicklin, from Abbey Hulton, Staffordshire, told BBC Breakfast on Monday she wanted to raise awareness to other parents.

"If I can save one child or a hundred, then I've promised my baby I've done what I've done," she said.

"They need to be more secure. Parents need to check. Just check, check, check.”

She said doctors told her that Harper-Lee had swallowed the battery halfway through surgery.

She added: "I had to go and tell my girls that their baby sister had passed away.

“These five weeks have been absolute torture, I feel so lost. The house is just so quiet."

Staffordshire Safeguarding Children's Board has issued a warning about the small batteries.

It said: "Button batteries power everyday objects like car key fobs, remote controls and children's toys. But did you know that if they are swallowed they can badly injure, or even kill a child?

Locals paid tribute to Harper-Lee Fanthorpe after the toddler's death. (Reach)
Locals paid tribute to Harper-Lee Fanthorpe after the toddler's death. (Reach)

"Batteries react with saliva and if a child swallows a button battery it can burn holes and cause internal bleeding and even death.”

It said parents should be aware of symptoms such as their child coughing, gagging or drooling, or pointing to their throat or tummy.

Stoke-on-Trent city councillor Dave Evans, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “This was a tragic accident involving a young child and our thoughts are with the family at this sad time.

"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."

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