BRISBANE - The family of a young boy whose throat was eaten away by a battery he swallowed are urging parents to be aware of toys powered by the bright, shiny button-shaped batteries this Christmas.

One-year-old Hunter Cheshire from Deception Bay, north of Brisbane, swallowed the battery in April when his parents weren't looking.

It became stuck in his voice box and began to leak acid, burning a hole in his windpipe and causing serious damage to his organs.

He was suffering a cold at the time and his family only realised there was a real problem a week later when he began dry retching and vomiting.

An x-ray was done at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, and Hunter was taken in for emergency surgery to remove the battery, but the damage was already done.

"His bodily fluids were leaking into his windpipe, which was getting into his lungs and filling them up," Hunter's father Jason Cheshire said at hospital yesterday.

A second, dangerous surgery was done about three weeks later to sew Hunter's stomach and throat closed.

"He didn't have much chance of living at all. To see him nearly die in front of us really shocked us."

He is now fed through a tube to his stomach and has a hole in his neck to drain saliva.

He'll go in for a third surgery today to repair his windpipe.

Dr Katie Tinning said Hunter would have to undergo a surgery every six to 12 months to stretch his oesophagus.

"We hope he will have a normal life and will be able to eat through his mouth ... but he will have ongoing complications for the rest of his life."

On average, between two and three children are rushed to Queensland Health emergency departments every day after having swallowed foreign objects such as batteries, magnets, sinkers, safety pins and wire.

Since July last year, more than 1200 children under 14 have been taken to public hospitals in Queensland with ingestion-related injuries.