Mum's terrifying TikTok video after baby son almost dies

A 28-year-old mum whose baby almost died after swallowing a button battery from a children's toy has warned of the dangers they present, showing how they can burn through bacon within 15 minutes.

Hollie Phillips, from Hertfordshire in the UK, had a terrifying near-miss last August when her son, Ralphie, swallowed a button battery the day before his first birthday.

While she knew of the dangers button batteries presented to young children if ingested, Hollie hadn't realised some of her other son Albie's toys had them.

After swallowing something – which Hollie didn’t realise at the time was the battery – Ralphie started "uncontrollably crying".

Hollie Phillips pictured with son Ralphie in hospital after he swallowed a button battery. She has shared a TikTok warning.
Ralphie in hospital after he swallowed a button battery. His mum, Hollie (pictured right), has shared a TikTok about the dangers. Source: Jam Press/Australscope

He was rushed into hospital after he started projectile vomiting a “black and blood coloured sick” and an X-ray later revealed the battery was lodged in his oesophagus.

They were moved to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridgeshire at 5.30am – more than 17 hours after he had swallowed the battery – where surgeons told her to prepare for the worst.

"I went from planning his first birthday to planning his funeral," Hollie, who runs a brunch event company, told Jam Press news agency.

"My whole world fell apart as they rushed him into theatre, I signed papers and was told the risks."

Two surgeons worked together to remove the battery and told Hollie it had caused significant damage to Ralphie's insides, burning him.

Thankfully, he was stable and after three weeks in hospital, the young boy was allowed to go home.

Mum's battery crusade after son's brush with death

But the journey wasn't over for Hollie who has since dedicated herself to raising awareness to the dangers of the batteries, which are commonly found in children's toys, remote controls, car keys and weighing scales.

"Once the shock had passed, I knew he was stable and I adjusted to what had happened as the days passed I knew this wasn't going to be an easy recovery," she said.

"I realised crying about it wasn't going to change – I knew I couldn't let this happen again to another child or family."

Recently Hollie shared a video on TikTok where she demonstrated how dangerous button batteries could be, placing on in between two rashers of raw bacon.

Within five minutes, a slight black ring appeared around the battery on the flesh.

After adding water to represent saliva, with Hollie explaining that when button batteries get wet, it causes an electrical current which breaks down the battery to form a corrosive product "like oven cleaner".

"It can literally burn a hole through any part of the digestive system such as the oesophagus," the mum said.

"Even if the battery is old or flat, it will still produce enough electricity to cause burns inside the body."

After 15 minutes, a darker black ring can be seen burned into the bacon.

"Imagine this after two hours and the damage it can do to a child," Hollie says.

The X-ray showing the button battery inside Ralphie's body.
This X-ray shows the button battery inside Ralphie. Source: Jam Press/Australscope

TikTok users shocked over mum's button battery video

At the time of writing, the post had racked up almost 10,000 likes and was viewed more than 112,000 times.

"I can't get my head round why they haven't banned these batteries yet, especially in children's toys or remote controls," one person said.

"I despise these things!!!!!! Why aren't they banned??! (sic)," another social media user added.

Someone else said: "This is actually so scary I'm so sorry."

"Omg more people should know about this," a fourth person said.

Another user wrote: "They need banning! Gives me pure anxiety just being near one."

"Omg this has made me feel sick," one TikTok user said.

Hollie added: "I do believe everything happens for a reason and, as much I wish it never happened to us, I'm going to use Ralphie’s story to change the world and bring worldwide awareness to make sure we can reduce the risk, change the laws, change packings and save more lives."

The mum is calling for an end to having button batteries in children's toys, working alongside Stacey-Marie Niklin, the mother of Harper-Lee Fanthirpe, who sadly died last year at the age of two after swallowing one.

The battery had been easily removed from a remote control and caused fatal internal injuries to the young girl.

Stacey-Marie has since started a petition called Harper-Lee's Law, which she and Hollie hope to bring to parliament.

– Jam Press/Australscope

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