Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The challenge of button batteries in products

Mark Fletcher
April 9th, 2019 · No Comments

The issue of button batteries and the risks the present is important for any retailer selling products that use these. Product Safety Australia, part of the ACCC, is active on the issue of button batteries right now.

Every week, around 20 Australian children present to an emergency department following exposure to button batteries, including ingestions and insertions. Keep products with button batteries out of sight and out of reach of small children.

You only have to look at the recalls this year to understand how current and serious this issue is:

  1. Royal Automobile Association of South Australia (RAA) — Promotional Silicone LED bicycle light distributed as part of the RAA Street Smart Program
  2. Officeworks – Teknikio1, Teknikio2, Teknikio3, Teknikio4 – Electronic Circuit Sewing and Activity Kits
  3. Daiso Industries (Australia) Pty Ltd — Various Candles, Lights, Calculator and Stopwatch Products containing Button Batteries
  4. Cricket Australia — Promotional LED Wristband
  5. St John Ambulance Australia — Tiny Tots First Aid Kit

There are plenty of news stories about the issue, like this one from the weekend about a child who ended up in hospital.

What can retailers do? This advice from the ACCC to consumers could guid our inventory ranging decisions:

If buying a household device or novelty, look for products that do not run on button batteries. If you do buy button battery operated products look for ones where the battery compartment requires a tool or dual simultaneous movement to open. This will make it difficult for a young child to access the battery.

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Category: Social responsibility

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