US Senate Introduces ‘Reese’s Law’ to Protect Children from Accidental Button Battery Ingestion

SGS informs manufacturers and suppliers of
consumer products to US markets of Senate Bill S.3278 – ‘Reese’s law’ – which,
if signed into law, aims to protect children and other consumers from the
hazards posed by accidental ingestion of button cells or coin batteries.

Introduced on November 30, 2021, and named
after Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who died in 2020 after ingesting a button
battery from a remote control, the bill requires the Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) to promulgate a consumer product safety standard requiring
child-resistant closures on consumer products which use these battery types. If
accepted, this must happen no later than one year after the date the bill is
enacted into law.

The CPSC safety standard must contain, as
a minimum, both:

  • Performance
    standard for secured compartments, with access to these battery types by
    children aged 6 or younger being prevented during reasonably foreseeable use or
    misuse conditions
  • Warning
    label – to be included in all applicable products:

    • On the relevant battery packaging and the packaging of
      any consumer product containing these batteries
    • In any literature, such as a user manual, that
      accompanies a consumer product containing these batteries
    • As practicable, directly on a consumer product
      containing button cell or coin batteries in a manner that is visible to the
      consumer upon installation or replacement of the button cell or coin battery

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The warning label must clearly identify
the ingestion hazard and instruct consumers to keep new and used batteries out
of the reach of children (as applicable). It should also instruct them to seek
immediate medical attention if a battery is ingested, and follow any other
consensus medical advice.

The bill also requires any button cell or
coin battery, included with the consumer product or sold separately,
distributed in commerce, or imported, to be packaged according to provisions in
16CFR 100.15 (Poison Prevention Packaging Standards). Child resistant packaging
should meet the requirements described in 16 CFR 1700.20 (Testing Procedure for
Special Packaging).

According to the bill:

  • ‘Button
    Cell or Coin Battery’ is defined as one of:

    • A single cell battery with a diameter greater than the
      height of the battery
    • 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
    Product Containing Button Cell or Coin Batteries’ is defined as 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’ is defined as any object designed, manufactured, or marketed as a plaything
    for children under 14 years of age

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A voluntary standard may be promulgated by
the CPSC if they determine it as meeting the requirements of the bill.

Stakeholders should be aware that toy
products that follow ASTM F963 are exempt from any standard that is

SGS Consumer Products Services

Through a
global network of state-of-the-art laboratories, SGS offers consultation and
comprehensive testing services (physical/mechanical, chemical, flammability,
electrical safety, etc) covering the full spectrum of international product
safety and regulatory standards for a wide range of consumer products. In the
end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Learn more about SGS’s Consumer

SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the
latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full US
Senate Introduces Bill to Protect Children from Ingesting Button Batteries


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For further information contact:

SGS Connectivity & Products
Technical Manager (Hardlines)
Tel: +1 (905) 364-3757



LinkedIn: sgs-consumer-goods-&-retail

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