In August, President Biden signed Reese’s Law into effect, which required the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create consumer product safety standards for button cell or coin batteries. Last month, the CPSC issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that provided further details on the various performance and label requirements it would apply to the batteries.

The Promo Perspective

PPAI Media has reported on Reese’s Law as it moved through Capitol Hill. The legislation is an important consideration for the promotional merchandise sector considering how common the batteries among electronic products sold in the industry.

The Legislation

Reese’s Law (P.L. 117-171) is named after Reese Hamsmith, who died in 2020 at 18 months old after swallowing a button cell battery. The legislation is intended to product children six and under from ingesting similar batteries.

Reese’s Law requires the CPSC to:

  • Create performance standards requiring the compartments of a consumer product containing button cell or coin batteries to be secured in order to prevent access by children who are six years of age or younger.
  • Require warning labels in literature accompanying the product, on the packaging and directly on the product when practical so it is visible.
  • Require warning labels to clearly identify the hazard of ingestion.
  • Require 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.

Proposed Rules

Over the past month, the CPSC has collected public comment on the proposed rules mandated by Reese’s Law. If the rule is finalized, consumer products subject to the rule must be tested and certified as compliant with the rule.

Exempt from Reese’s Law are any toy products that are in compliance with existing federal battery accessibility and labeling requirements for toys. However, children’s products containing button cell or coin batteries that are not toys would be required to meet the performance and labeling requirements of the proposed rule.

  • An example of this would be children’s apparel, such as shoes, that light up and use a button cell or coin battery as a power source.