Officials warn shoppers of button battery dangers

November 21, 2011 2:42:22 PM PST
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and a number of medical and child safety groups are alerting the public to the increasing numbers of child injuries from button batteries.

"They get lodged in children's throats. Then acids come out of them, causing them great problems," said Madigan.

The attorney general is talking about the little round batteries commonly thought of as button batteries that come in everything from singing greeting cards, loved by children to toys, remote controls, cell phones and video games -- gadgets that are fascinating to little children.

A button battery that is swallowed can be stuck in a child's esophagus and burn the child.

"What's alarming is that it can cause severe injury twp hours after it's ingested. That creates a literal race for time," said Dr. Steve Krug, Children's Memorial Hospital.

Last year, the Illinois Poison Center took 90 calls about children swallowing button batteries,. Across the country, there have been 10 deaths from these injuries between 1985 to 2007.

Early symptoms are similar to those of other illnesses coughing, vomiting, loss of appetite, irritable behavior. But if you suspect it's a button battery, take action quickly.

"They should go to the emergency room immediately. Do not let the child ingest any food...Do not induce vomiting," said Andrea Garces, Safe Kids Illinois.

The attorney general also showed this year's version of the safe shopping guide. It contains all the toys and child related items recalled this year by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Officials are reminding holiday shoppers to watch out for toys that may have already been recalled.

For more information, visit:

Illinois Attorney General Hotline: (888) 414-7678

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