May.2024 29
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Button Battery Safety: A Must-Read for Every Parent
Toy Battery Safety-Don't overlook the potential hazards of button batteries! Stay informed and learn how to keep your children safe from harm.

Most children's toys and home accessories require batteries to function, blink, light up, sing, and shine. However, the batteries powering those fun toys can be extremely dangerous to young ones. Batteries Plus would like to encourage parents to keep button cell batteries out of their reach to keep them safe.

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What Are Button Cell Batteries?

Button cell batteries and coin cell batteries are small, disk-shaped batteries most commonly used for calculators, watches, key fobs, toys, and hearing aids. Not to mention holiday decorations, musical greeting cards, and many household items.

What Chemistries Do Button Cell Batteries Come In?

There is a wide variety of button and coin cell batteries in the market. The most common are:

  • Zinc Air: Most commonly used in hearing aids and medical devices.
  • Silver Oxide: Used in various devices from watches, to thermometers, and portable games.
  • Lithium: The most common use is in watches and key fobs but can also be used for a variety of electronic devices like toys, tools, and more.

Much less common but still available for unique devices are alkaline and nickel metal hydride.

Why Are There Safety Concerns Over These Batteries?

Small button or coin cell batteries can easily be swallowed. According to an article by the American Academy of Pediatrics, between 2010 and 2019, there have been an average of 7,032 emergency room visits across the US for battery ingestion emergencies for children under the age of 18.

These miniature power sources contain chemicals that strongly react to make electricity. If swallowed, they can cause choking, burns, abdominal pain, and internal bleeding.

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Reese's Law

So how do we protect kids from swallowing batteries? One thing that has happened in recent years is the introduction of Reese's Law. Reese's Law mandates several safety requirements for these small batteries.

Enacted in 2022, Reese's Law is a federal law in the US that aims to protect young children from the dangers of swallowing button or coin batteries. It does this by setting safety standards for these batteries and the products that contain them.

Specifically, the law requires:

  1. Safer battery compartments: Products that use these batteries must be designed so that it's harder for children to open the compartment and access the batteries.
  2. Clear warning labels: Labels must clearly warn consumers about the dangers of ingesting these batteries and what to do if it happens.
  3. Child-resistant packaging: According to the Poison Prevention Packaging Standards (PPPA), packaging must be child-resistant. This simply means it should be difficult for young children to open without assistance.

You can read all about Reese's Law and its requirements on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.

How Can I Keep My Kids Safe?

The little ones need to be protected. Take the following precautions to prevent any unexpected emergencies:

  • Keep them out of reach of children: This includes tables, countertops, garbage cans, and accessible cabinets – basically, any place in your home a curious toddler could get to.
  • Properly dispose of used batteries: Follow all local recycling and EPA laws for proper disposal and recycling.
  • Don't insert or change batteries in front of small children: Their curiosity is only heightened when they see their parents using shiny button cell batteries.
  • Get to the hospital ASAP: Even if you're remotely suspicious your child has swallowed a battery, get to an emergency room right away.
  • Secure battery compartments: Make sure toys that use button cell batteries have battery compartments that can't be opened by curious little fingers.
  • Be especially cautious with larger coin cells: Larger lithium coin cell batteries often found in vehicle key fobs pose the greatest health risk if swallowed.

Weijiang Battery Can Help With Battery Disposal

Proper disposal of old batteries is an increasingly important part of battery safety. Weijiang Battery is happy to help you in this area. We offer a great number of recycling options for your old batteries and lightbulbs. Stop by or call your local Weijiang Battery to see how we can help you!

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