The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will now be required to establish a product safety standard to help reduce the incidence of childhood injuries related to the ingestion of button cell or coin batteries.
Passed with bipartisan support by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Joseph Biden in mid-August, Public Law 117-171 (also known as Reese’s Law) mandates that the CPSC create safety standards to prevent the accidental ingestion of button batteries by:
- Developing performance standards that will require the battery compartments of consumer products to be secured so as to prevent access by young children;
- Requiring button and coin cell packaging to be secured in a child-resistant manner;
- Requiring warning labels that clearly identify the hazards of ingestion; and
- Requiring warning labels that instruct consumers to keep new and used batteries out of the reach of children, and to seek immediate medical attention if a battery is ingested.
The CPSC has one year from the Law’s enactment date to establish the standards detailed in the Law.
Reese’s Law is named after Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who passed away in December 2020 from complications that resulted after she ingested a button cell battery.