U.S. – Congress Passes Reese’s Law to Prevent Children from Button Cell Battery Danger

Vol. 1318 | August 10, 2022

On Aug 2, the Senate passed bill HR5313, also known as Reese’s Law. This bill was passed earlier by House and so it now awaits the President’s signature. The bipartisan bill is named in honor of Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old toddler who died after ingesting a button cell battery from a remote control. This legislation is aimed to protect children from these small button cell and coin batteries found in everyday household items.

Reese’s law specifically will direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create safety standards to prevent the accidental ingestion of button cell or coin batteries by children, including:

  • Requiring button cell or coin battery to be secured in a child-resistant packaging;
  • Creating performance standards requiring the compartments of consumer products containing button cell or coin batteries to be secured to prevent access by children six years of age or younger;
  • Requiring warning labels in product manuals, on the packaging, and directly on the product when practical, so it is visible;
  • Requiring warning labels that clearly identify the hazard of ingestion; and
  • Requiring warning labels that instruct consumers to keep new and used batteries out of children’s reach and seek immediate medical attention if a battery is ingested.

Toys that meet the Federal toy safety standard, 16 CFR 1250, are exempt from the above requirements.

Following are the key definitions in the bill:

Button cell or coin battery

  • a single cell battery with a diameter greater than the height of the battery; or
  • any other battery, regardless of the technology used to produce an electrical charge, that is determined by the Commission to pose an ingestion hazard.

Consumer products containing button cell or coin batteries

  • a consumer product containing or designed to use one or more button cell or coin batteries, regardless of whether such batteries are intended to be replaced by the consumer or are included with the product or sold separately.

Toy product

  • any object designed, manufactured or marketed as a plaything for children under 14 years of age.

The bill can be reviewed at: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr5313/text

For questions, please contact Harini Ramaswamy (harini.ramaswamy@intertek.com +1 224 318 0220) or Dr. Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, +1 847 212 8273)

 

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