Father heartbroken after death of his toddler, “Apparently I didn’t do enough.”

A father has been left heartbroken after an inquest into the death of his two-year-old daughter found a corroded battery was cause of death.

Francesca Asan found and swallowed the button sized battery, intended for a pair of 3D television glasses despite her father’s best efforts to hide them.

Coroner Andrew Bradley told the inquest that he suspected a leak of the battery led to Francesca’s death, reports 7 news.

“There was a small amount of blood clot on the tongue and the pharynx and there was a hemorrhage at the back of the esophagus.

“There was a corroded round 3v battery two centimetres in diameter present in the esophagus.”

The toddler allegedly started to vomit and point at her mouth before her father George Asan rushed her to the dentist under the impression she had teething problems.

After trips to the doctor and the dentist, the young girls condition deteriorated quickly and she became “floppy” in her fathers arms.

“We just put it down to her having food poisoning or a bug,” the former soldier said.

“We decided to take her to the GP. She woke up in pain and went to nursery on the Wednesday and was not herself. Staff at the nursery said she was looking for comforting and cuddles.

“After the GP I called the dentist. She fell asleep while we were at the dentist and she woke up in pain and I said ‘no more joking around’.

“She was talking normally to us. The dentist suggested it was a teething problem and at that moment I relaxed a little bit.

“I left the dentist with peace of mind and she went floppy. I ran home with her and we changed her nappy because it was black. I called a taxi and went straight to the hospital.

“When they put the tube down her throat all the blood came out. Apparently I didn’t do enough.”

Suggestions that the British child had been neglected were quickly put to rest by the coroner.

“Francesca was clean, well cared for and adequately nourished. There are no features to suggest neglect or physical abuse.”

“There is not an injury to the mouth to suggest this was anything other than accidental ingestion.”

Earlier this year CHOICE  joined forces with The Parenthood and Kidsafe Queensland to call on the Federal Government to introduce stricter safety standards for all products containing button batteries.

Safety tips

• If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 or go to a hospital emergency room. Do not let the child eat or drink, and do not induce vomiting.
• Keep all disc battery operated devices out of sight and out of reach of children.
• Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure.
• Dispose of used button batteries immediately. Flat batteries can still be dangerous.
• Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries, and how to keep their children safe.

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  • How very tragic. My heart breaks for this family.


  • poor little mite, so scary because they are such a common item


  • so sorry for the families loss :( loosing a child is very traumatic. I hope they can find some comfort in knowing that their story is raising awareness again about the need to be mindful about these small battery types what can happen if when children get hold of them.


  • A tragic story,our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.


  • Aw, how sad. My thought and prayers go out to the family !!


  • Those little batteries can cause so much damage and little kids seem to love swallowing them or poking them into orifices. Such a danger


  • This is so heartbreaking. The poor family


  • So very, very sad for this family.


  • Those button batteries are really scary. Better be extra careful if you have small kids around the house, and pets too!


  • I think they should make objects bigger and ban button batteries.
    Go back to old type of watches that you wind up – no batteries than can also leak.


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