Reese’s law

Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Children From Button Batteries

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Lawmakers introduced legislation to create stronger safety standards for products that contain button cell or coin batteries.

The batteries have killed numerous children and injured thousands more, including Denym Hall of Hyattsville, Maryland. She spent weeks in the hospital after ingesting one of the batteries.

Other children suffer far worse consequences, including 18-month-old Reese Hamsmith, who died from swallowing a battery from a TV remote.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill, lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill named in honor of Reese.

Her mother, who turned the tragedy into action to save others, was there for the announcement.

“I’m asking for your support to mandate guidelines to make all consumer products safer,” Trista Hamsmith said. “Button batteries are the fastest growing and highest margin segment in the battery market.”

“The main point is these kinds of injuries are preventable, and that’s the reason we have introduced -- Sen. [Marsha] Blackburn and I -- are introducing Reese's Law,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.

Reese’s Law will direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create safety standards requiring products containing button or cell batteries be secured and require warning labels about the hazards.

Tuesday’s hearing also addressed the overall dangers of counterfeit and unregulated products coming from overseas, especially during the holiday season. Lawmakers hope Reese’s Law also will encourage the industry to collaborate with the CPSC to protect kids from poorly designed products in general.

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