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Why are button or coin cells batteries dangerous?
Button or coin cell batteries are commonly used in games and toys due to their small size and power output. If the toy’s design and construction are not strong enough to resist normal use or abuse testsing, the battery compartment can be easily opened or broken. As a result, the small batteries will become accessible, which can pose a deadly risk for a child. If a child swallows the button battery, it can cause extensive damage to internal organs and can be fatal in just a few hours.

ASTM F963-17, section 5.15.2 contains requirements for toys with button or coin cell batteries:

1. Toys that use button or coin cell batteries shall indicate on the package the following:

NOTE — Graphical icons conveying the same information can be substituted.

2. The instructions of toys that use button or coin cell batteries shall carry safety labeling in accordance with 5.3 (Safety Labeling Requirements). The language shall be placed along with any other battery information that is included in the instructions, e.g., how to change the battery, etc. If there are no instructions included with the product then the required labeling shall appear either on the package or in an insert packed with the product.

3. The labeling shall consist of the alert symbol followed by the signal word “WARNING” and contain, at a minimum, the following text or equivalent text that clearly conveys the same information: “This product contains a button or coin cell battery. A swallowed button or coin cell battery can cause internal chemical burns in as little as two hours and lead to death. Dispose of used batteries immediately. Keep new and used batteries away from children. If you think batteries might have been swallowed or placed inside any part of the body, seek immediate medical attention.”

Suggested testing package
Manufacturers should ensure that their toys can pass normal use and abuse testing so that battery doors are confirmed to be secure, therefore preventing access to the small and dangerous batteries inside.


To learn more, visit SAFETY OF TOYS – Insights into 2019 recalls in United States
or contact us.