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Rep. Kelly’s Bipartisan Reese’s Law Passes the Senate, Heads to President Biden’s Desk for Signing

The consumer protection legislation will create safety standards that prevent accidental ingestion of button batteries by children ages six and younger.

Reese Hamsmith, Reese's Law co-sponsored by Rep. Robin Kelly passed the Senate.
Reese Hamsmith. (Source: Reese’s Purpose)

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- This week, Reese’s Law, bipartisan legislation co-led by Reps. Robin Kelly (D-IL), Jodey Arrington (R-TX) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) to protect children from ingesting button cell batteries passed the Senate. The legislation will now go to President Biden’s desk for signature. Reese’s Law is named for Reese Hamsmith, an 18-month-old child who tragically passed away after ingesting a button cell battery.

“I’m thrilled that the Senate has passed Reese’s Law and that President Biden will soon sign the legislation into law. Reese Hamsmith lost her life far too early, and now her legacy will be protecting other families from experiencing the same tragedy,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “This needed legislation will help protect consumers across the country from harmful button and coin cell batteries. Passing this legislation would not have been possible without the work of Trista Hamsmith, who has tirelessly advocated for this policy despite her own grief.”

“Reese’s Law will improve safeguards for button batteries, potentially saving hundreds of lives every year and sparing families the indescribable heartbreak of losing a child. I am honored to work with Rep. Kelly and humbled to play a small role in passing this important piece of legislation,” said Congressman Jodey Arrington. “I am pleased the Senate passed this bill and eager for the President to sign it into law.”

“Today we take another step toward ensuring no family will ever again feel the pain of losing a child to small, unsecured button batteries. Reese’s Law, authored by Rep. Kelly, will protect children by strengthening safety standards for small batteries found in everyday objects including children’s toys,” said Congressman Ted Lieu. “I am proud to have been part of this process from the beginning, when one of my constituents shared the tragic story of her 16-month-old daughter’s experience with a button battery. While playing with a children’s toy, the button battery fell out and her daughter swallowed it, resulting in a week-long stay in the ICU and an additional month in the hospital. Thankfully, this constituent’s baby survived. Not all families are so lucky. As a parent, I am absolutely committed to protecting parents of young children around the country from these horrific accidents. I am thankful to our colleagues in the Senate for their support and look forward to President Biden signing this important consumer protection measure into law.”

The legislation was brought to Rep. Kelly’s attention by Reese’s mother, Trista Hamsmith following Reese’s death. Trista founded Reese’s Purpose, a non-profit organization founded to identify, advocate and correct safety issues impacting children and their families.

“I’m grateful to the House and Senate for their diligent work to pass Reese’s Law. This legislation will undoubtedly save lives. I often talk about the plaque that was in Reese’s hospital room which read, ‘He has a plan and I have a purpose.’ Reese’s life was taken way too soon, but her legacy will live on through this law so that no other family will have to suffer like ours,” said Trista Hamsmith. “We are thankful for the passage of this legislation to help protect all children and families from the hidden dangers of button batteries.”

Button and coin batteries pose a dangerous risk to young children and infants, but products with these batteries lack proper safety standards. Swallowing button batteries can cause serious injuries for some children, especially if the battery becomes lodged in the esophagus.

This legislation will direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create safety standards that prevent accidental ingestion of button batteries by children ages six and younger.

Reese’s Law will require the Consumer Product Safety Commission 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 is a battery is ingested.

This legislation is endorsed by: Hallmark, the Toy Association, The American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Reports, Reese’s Purpose, Kids In Danger (KID), U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and the Consumer Federation of America.