Child shaken when AA battery exploded

A THREE-year-old girl was left shaken and now has a fear of loud noises after a small AA battery exploded in her hand. And when her mother Diana Harman, 43, complained to manufacturer Duracell, her daughter was sent a £20 Gillette voucher as a goodwill ge

A THREE-year-old girl was left shaken and now has a fear of loud noises after a small AA battery exploded in her hand.

And when her mother Diana Harman, 43, complained to manufacturer Duracell, her daughter was sent a £20 Gillette voucher as a goodwill gesture.

Mrs Harman, of Macbeth Close, Huntingdon, said her daughter Sophie, has developed a fear of loud noises and can burst into tears at parties whenever there are loud bangs.

The mother of three, who works at a pre-school, said the used battery had been taken out of Sophie's purple dinosaur toy shortly before it exploded.


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"Sophie's hand was black and I was absolutely terrified that it was burnt but thankfully it was just covered in carbon," she said. "Instinct took over and I put a cold compress on her tummy where the battery had hit her. I've been working in childcare for 25 years and I've never seen anything like it."

Mrs Harman alerted the supermarket where she had bought the batteries and contacted Duracell. However, when the firm sent her a standard letter and a the Gillette voucher, she called in trading standards officials.

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She said: "A gift coupon for shaving products wasn't going to cheer Sophie up much. It was an inappropriate gesture."

After investigations, Trading Standards Officers told Mrs Harman that as she did not have a receipt to prove she had bought the batteries from a legitimate outlet, the case could not be taken further.

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards officer Mike Enderby said: "We very occasionally hear about batteries exploding and it is normally down to counterfeit batteries or faulty electrical equipment.

"Unfortunately, as the customer is unable to prove where the battery came from, no further action can be taken."

The incident, which happened in September this year, has left Mrs Harman reluctant to change or touch batteries. She said: "I let my husband do that now, I don't want to have anything to do with them.

"Sophie is so scared of loud noises we had to take the 'bang' out of our Christmas crackers."

A spokesman for Proctor & Gamble, the parent company of Duracell, said: "Consumer safety is our No.1 priority. However, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on this matter, since it is currently with Trading Standards."

Mrs Harman, who has two other children, aged 17 and 20, said: "If anything comes out of this it should be a warning to people to be very careful with used batteries - as we found out, they can be very dangerous.

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