Source: Medicines & Healthcare products & Regulatory Agency (MHRA)


HCPA would like to bring attention to the following message from the Central Alert System. We would urge our members to be aware that friends and families visiting service users may bring along small children and babies and they may be at risk. Please read below and make appropriate risk assessments.

It is highly advisable that all batteries are kept off floors and low units, out of the reach of children.


Babies and young children (under five years) can suffer serious injury if they ingest coin/button batteries or poke them into their nostrils or ears. This group is at most risk of serious harm because they tend to explore the world by putting things in their mouths and batteries can become lodged in their narrow oesophagus and cause rapid tissue necrosis, perforation, and hemorrhage.

While the larger lithium batteries have the greatest potential to cause harm, including death, the smaller zinc-air batteries, used in hearing aids, cochlear implants, bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and similar equipment, still present a significant risk.;

Actions required

  • Review audiology team guidance/protocols to ensure:
    1. for babies and children aged under five years:
      • All hearing aids and other hearing devices, including temporary replacements or those previously issued, have secure battery compartments
    2. for older children and adults:
      • consideration of the need for secure battery compartments for:
        1. those living with babies or children aged under five years
        2. those with additional risk factors* or living with someone with additional risk factors
  • Review purchasing and supply to ensure audiology teams have access to the full range of hearing devices with secure battery compartments
  • Revise information supplied to:
    • parents/carers of babies or children who use hearing aids or other hearing devices to explain the risks of coin/button battery ingestion
    • all hearing aid or other hearing device users on the importance of keeping batteries away from babies, children and anyone with additional risk factors*

Action by

All organisations supplying NHS-funded hearing aids to babies, children or adults.

» Click here to read the full CAS alert