Madigan Warns Shoppers Of Button Batteries

Batteries pose risk for small children and pets

By Jessica Guido
|  Monday, Nov 21, 2011  |  Updated 6:37 PM CDT
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Household Items That Use Button Batteries

Charlie Wojciechowski

Button batteries are used in everyday household items.

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Attorney General Madigan warned parents of the dangers of  "button" batteries, in a statement released Monday.

Button batteries are small, disc-shaped silver batteries found in common household electronics from watches, cell phones, remote control and even multimedia greeting cards.

"Button batteries are a hidden threat in most of the our homes. They are small as a nickel but can cause big problems for young children," said Madigan said. "It only takes a second for a toddler to put one of these in their month. Parents need to know how dangerous these batteries are so they can keep their children safe."

Madigan spoke with individuals at the Illinois Poison Center, Children's Memorial Hospital and other safety advocate groups before issuing the alert.

Reports show that the batteries can lodge in a child's throat and cause a chemical burn that affects the esophagus, vocal chords and the aorta. Eighty-five percent of major injuries from swallowing a button battery were sustained by children under four, according to Madigan.

The Attorney General also released her annual holiday safe shopping guide, which outlines products under recall as well as unsafe items.

"Unfortunately, when a recall is issued, these products don't just vanish. They wind up in people's homes, at second-hand shops or posted online at sites like eBay or Craigslist," said Madigan.

The guide can be found online, consumers can contact Madigan's office for a hard copy or call the Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678.

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