Local Toddler Sickened By Aqua Dots

Chinese-Made Toy Recalled In U.S.

POSTED: 12:03 pm CST November 9, 2007

UPDATED: 1:03 pm CST November 9, 2007

TWIN LAKES, Wis. -- A Wisconsin family got the scare of their lives

Monday night when their toddler became unexplainably ill, lethargic

and unresponsive.

"Pretty much what they did ... they sold me poison in a box for my

kid," said Jason Batcheller, whose daughter was hospitalized after

ingesting pieces of a toy called Aqua Dots.

Aqua Dots Recalled

NBC5 reported that there was a major recall announced on Thursday and

experts say if you have Aqua Dots in your house, get rid of them.

The recall covers 4.2 million packages of Aqua Dots. The Chinese

factory where they were made allegedly used a toxic chemical instead

of glue.

NBC5's Rob Elgas told the exclusive story of a local victim, 13-month

old Riley Batcheller. He said that in less than 20 minutes the child

transformed from a happy toddler to an unresponsive youngster. What

followed was panic, an airlift to a Milwaukee hospital and near


"She was limp in my arms," the baby's mother, Kelly Batcheller

said. "She wouldn't hold up her head ... her arms were limp ... there

were so many things running through my head. I'm like, should I not

have picked her up? Did she fall? Is her neck broken?"

The girl's father, Jason Batcheller, recalls the chaos that followed.

"The ambulance came and she started throwing up Aqua Dots, you know,

a kid's toy," he said.

"All the sudden she just let out this loud cry, and then she started

puking," Kelly Batcheller said.

It all happened at the family's Twin Lakes, Wis., home. It was before

the recall was announced and the Batchellers had no idea what was

hurting their toddler, Elgas said.

"I'm thinking, 'A child's toy just almost killed my little girl?'"

Jason said.

"In 15 minutes, she went from happy to, just, completely

unconscious," his wife added.

Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy sold by Australia-based Moose

Enterprises, are beads that can be arranged into designs and fused

when sprayed with water. The toy was pulled from shelves in North

American and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical

that converts into a dangerous drug when eaten. Two children in the

U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the


Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested,

metabolizes into the so-called date rape drug, gamma hydroxy

butyrate. When eaten, the compound -- made from common and easily

available ingredients -- can induce unconsciousness, seizures,

drowsiness, coma and death. Officials in Hong Kong are testing the

Chinese-made toys.

Elgas said that Riley's vomiting may have saved her life.

"She's got an angel watching over her, that's for sure, " her mother


Riley's parents believe that she may have ingested more than 40

pellets from the Aqua Dots package. What's more frightening, Elgas

said, is that her grandmother went to a local store Thursday night

and saw the toy on the store shelf.

She insisted that store staff remove them and said that only after a

call was made to the store's headquarters, did they comply.