If swallowed, button batteries can become stuck in a child’s throat and result in catastrophic injuries in under two hours and even death. Insertion of button batteries into body orifices such as ears and noses can also lead to significant injuries. Sadly in Australia, one child a month is seriously injured after swallowing or inserting a button battery.

The ACCC is running its Button batteries: Tiny batteries, Big danger campaign, reminding consumers that there are a number of ways to prevent this from happening including:

  • Check before you buy
  • Secure button batteries
  • Store them out of reach of children
  • Safely dispose of them immediately
  • Know what to do in an emergency
  • Make others aware of the risk

Advice for retailers

We remind all retailers that the requirements in AS/NZS62115:2018 for button batteries which includes security of the battery compartment, a warning message on the packaging and additional information in instructions should be treated as mandatory.

Tips to improving button battery safety in your products:

  • Ensure you only sell consumer products that come with a secure battery compartment, and have adequate warnings and markings available at POS (or online respectively).
  • Request that supply chain partners either:
    • Avoid use of button batteries as a power source; or
    • The item has a battery compartment that meets high safety requirements, and adequate warnings are provided.
  • Take note of the mandatory safety standard for toys
    • The mandatory standard for toys for children up to and including 36 months of age prescribes requirements for the design and construction of toys for children up to and including 36 months.
    • There are requirements for toys designed for children in this age group to ensure that the battery compartment is secure. The batteries should only be accessible by the use of a tool, or by the simultaneous application of two independent movements.
    • The provision of warnings that the product contains button batteries is currently being considered as part of the review of this standard.

 

More information

Button battery safety information: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/products/electronics-technology/button-batteries

Button battery safety investigation: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/product-safety-laws/safety-standards-bans/safety-investigations/button-battery-safety-investigation