Market Square recalls deadly Santa gift

December 11, 2023 7:52 am in by
A gift from Santa that contains dangerous button batteries has been recalled

Parents are being urged to get rid of a gift given to children by a shopping centre Santa in Geelong, because it could cause fatal injuries.

The miniature LED torch, which was handed to children who visited Market Square shopping centre in Geelong’s CBD, contains button batteries which can lead to serious injuries or death if swallowed.

The problem came to light when a local mum took to Facebook to warn other parents after her child managed to dismantle the torch.

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If swallowed, button batteries can become stuck and burn through a child’s airway in less than two hours, leading to catastrophic damage or death.

Market Square said it had written to many parents whose children had had their photo taken with Santa, urging them to dispose of the torches safely.

“We sincerely apologise for this and want to assure you we have reviewed our processes going forward,” the centre posted on its Facebook page.

“We’ve substituted with a new gift and would gladly replace yours.”

The Royal Children’s Hospital advises anyone who believes their child may have swallowed a button battery to call triple-zero (000) immediately, or take the child to the nearest hospital emergency department.

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Pieces of pork show the damage caused by exposure to button batteries (

Crucially, the hospital’s website says parents should not wait for symptoms to appear.

Signs that a child has swallowed a button battery include:

  • noisy breathing or chest pai
  • problems swallowing or drooling
  • vomiting blood oar passing dark or “yucky” poo

If you child has any of the above, go to your nearest hospital emergency department immediately.

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It’s the second incident involving shopping centre Santas in Geelong this Christmas.

Last week a contract Santa was sacked from his job at Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre after allegedly making an inappropriate comment to a child.

The man has not been charged by police.

Click here for the Royal Children’s Hospital button battery fact sheet.