Product Safety Policy Statement guide.
Button batteries can be highly dangerous if swallowed by small children. The Government has recently issued a “policy statement” on them, providing guidance on safety issues.
It’s not a legal requirement to comply with the policy, but it is helpful to know what it says. It’s a good idea to make sure, when negotiating with suppliers, that you ask them to make sure that their products comply with the policy. After all, it’s in everyone’s interests to keep customers (and their kids) safe.
Strict rules already apply to toys designed for children under three, and the new policy applies to everything else.
Manufacturers must comply with the Product Safety Standards (Children’s Toys) Regulations 2005, meaning toys subject to those regulations must ensure any small parts, including button batteries, are contained in compartments that are secure and not accessible by children under normal use.
As retailers, you should be ensuring that if you sell children’s toys, the manufacturers are meeting the Product Safety Standards regulations before putting them on the shelves to sell.
Other products powered by button batteries should:
- Have a secure battery compartment, with two mechanisms for release.
- Pass “use and abuse” tests to show that with expected everyday use, battery compartments cannot be accidentally opened or become insecure; or result in the release of the batteries.
- Button batteries should be supplied in child-resistant packaging if they are not installed in the product.
- Identify which of your products contain button batteries:
– Check them against the guidance
– Are they safe, or can they be made safer?
- When sourcing new products that use button batteries, ensure you choose or specify that:
– Devices have secure child resistant battery compartments
– Button batteries are in child resistant packaging
– Button battery information and warnings are clearly present.
It is best that you make these requirements a condition of purchase – and that you specify this in writing with your supplier.