Battery Safety Bill Aligning with Toy Safety Standards Passes House Vote

button-batteryJuly 27, 2022 | The House of U.S. Representatives today passed critical legislation to protect children and other consumers from the dangers posed by button cell or coin batteries to align with long-standing toy safety standards for batteries. Reese’s Law will direct the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish a mandatory standard for child-resistant closures on battery-operated consumer products.

All toys sold in the U.S. adhere to strict safety standards which already require a locking mechanism on battery compartments to prevent children from accessing batteries, but other easily accessible household items including remote controls, clocks, watches, bathroom scales, etc., have not been subject to these same standards.

The Toy Association has been a long-time advocate for battery safety and a strong supporter of Reese’s Law. The Association testified before the Senate about battery safety and other product safety concerns last fall and urged the CPSC to apply the toy industry model for battery safety to other products common in children’s environments during a CPSC priorities hearing in April.

“Safety is the top priority of The Toy Association and its members, and today’s passage of this bipartisan legislation confirms what we have always said about the serious health hazards these batteries pose to children if ingested,” said Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs at The Toy Association. “Reese’s Law adopts toys’ gold standard for battery safety and serves as another important step forward in ensuring children are safe. We look forward to this law’s swift passage and welcome the opportunity to work with the CPSC as it moves to put the measure into effect.”

Reese’s Law was named in honor of 18-month-old Reese Hamsmith who passed away in December 2020 after swallowing a button battery. The measure passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in May and now awaits a floor vote in the Senate.

Click here to read The Toy Association’s official statement on button cell batteries.