The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission held a meeting in Sydney on Friday with button battery manufacturers, importers, retailers and industry associations to discuss improvements to button battery safety.
“The ACCC has been concerned about the number of severe injuries to children from lithium coin cell batteries over recent times. The recent tragic death of a young girl in Queensland heightened the importance of improving the safety management of these batteries and products that incorporate them,” ACCC Acting Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The ACCC’s meeting with industry resulted in agreement and commitment to address this important safety concern.”
Industry attendees agreed to:
- Immediately strengthen consumer education activities, including support for The Battery Controlled campaign (an existing ACCC and Kidsafe industry initiative)
- Improve the warnings on the packaging for lithium coin cell batteries supplied to consumers
- Introduce child-resistant packaging for these batteries as quickly as practicable
- Work with suppliers of devices that use these batteries to improve warnings and designs to prevent children accessing these batteries from the device, and
- Continue efforts to develop safer battery designs.
“Attendees recognised the importance of an internationally consistent approach given the global nature of the industry. The meeting noted that several international industry standards would soon include button battery requirements and those could then be adopted in Australia. The ACCC will continue to work with international agencies on this important safety concern,” Ms Rickard said.
Attendees will provide the ACCC with written commitments and detailed plans on the agreed safety improvements. The ACCC will monitor progress and consider whether further action is required to improve the safety of button batteries.
SAFETY STEPS FOR PARENTS AND CARERS
- Keep coin-sized button batteries and devices out of sight and out of reach
- Examine devices and make sure the battery compartment is secure
- Dispose of used button batteries immediately. Flat batteries can still be dangerous.
- If you suspect a child has swallowed a button battery, immediately go to a hospital emergency room
- Call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for additional treatment information
- Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe
Remove risky button batteries from reach http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/remove-risky-button-batteries-from-reach
Further information on button battery safety is available at www.productsafety.gov.au and www.thebatterycontrolled.com.au
Use this form to make a general enquiry.