Reese’s Law strengthens safety standards for products with button batteries posing a serious danger to young children & infants if swallowed
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), lead Senate sponsors of Reese’s Law, bipartisan legislation to strengthen safety standards for products with button batteries frequently found in everyday items, issued the following joint statement after the House of Representatives passed the legislation. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.
Named in honor of Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who died after ingesting a button cell battery from a remote control, the legislation would protect children from these small button cell and coin batteries found in common household items including cameras, calculators, battery-operated candles, flashing apparel, and even greeting cards. If swallowed, these batteries can pose a serious danger to young children and infants, and can cause serious injuries, severe internal burns, or even death.
“The approval of Reese’s Law in the House brings us one step closer toward strengthening small battery safety standards—and bolstering kids’ safety. No family should have to worry about seemingly harmless household items causing irreversible damage and injury to their kids,” said Blumenthal and Blackburn, Chair and Ranking member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security. “The tragic story of Reese Hamsmith we heard in our subcommittee last year showed the serious danger these small but powerful batteries can pose to kids. Reese’s Law will give the CPSC the necessary tools to strengthen common sense safety standards by requiring child-resistant battery compartments and warning labels on everyday products. We’re proud to have introduced this legislation as Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee and urge the Senate to swiftly approve this important measure.”
Blumenthal and Blackburn unveiled the legislation last year during a hearing with Reese Hamsmith’s mother, Trista Hamsmith, founder of Reese’s Purpose. Specifically, the legislation would direct the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to create safety standards to prevent accidental ingestion of button batteries by children, including:
Reese’s Law was also introduced by U.S. Representatives Robin Kelly (D-IL), Jodey Arrington (R-TX), and Ted Lieu (D-CA) in the House, and has been endorsed by a number of advocacy and consumer protection groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports, Kids In Danger (KID), and the Consumer Federation of America, as well as manufacturers, including the Toy Association and Hallmark Cards, Inc.