19 September 2016
Consumer group CHOICE has welcomed the ACCC's announcement of a new voluntary button battery code.
"This is a first step towards making button batteries child-proof and keeping kids out of hospital," said CHOICE Head of Media Tom Godfrey.
"Button batteries are powerful, slim and light but they're also a silent killer. Twenty kids a week are admitted to emergency departments across the country – that's 20 kids too many.
"While we welcome a voluntary code, we'll be watching to see how this affects the market. If retailers aren't getting on board, we will want to a see the code become mandatory as soon as possible."
Button batteries are used in a growing number of products, such as small electronics, car keys, hearing aids and watches. Button batteries cause chemical burns when stuck in body tissue.
The Button Battery Code stipulates a number of safety mechanisms, including:
• design that means consumer goods are manufactured such that the batteries are not accessible to young children
• a battery compartment (or other enclosure) that is secured (preferably with a captive screw, a bolt or mechanism) such that it requires a tool to gain access to the batteries, OR
• a battery compartment that requires two or more independent and simultaneous actions to remove its cover.
CHOICE launched its button battery campaign with The Parenthood and Kidsafe QLD in May 2016.
More information about the campaign is available at choice.com.au/buttonbatteries
Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669
Set up by consumers for consumers, CHOICE is the consumer advocate that provides Australians with information and advice, free from commercial bias. As vital today as when we were founded in 1959, CHOICE continues to fight for consumers and uncover the truth. By mobilising Australia's largest and loudest consumer movement, CHOICE fights to hold industry and government accountable and achieve real change on the issues that matter most.