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ACCC Crack Down On Button Battery Safety

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has established a new taskforce aimed at improving regulation around button batteries.

Two Australian children died and hundreds more have been hospitalised after swallowing the buttons in recent years.

64 children have died globally.

The button batteries, also known as coin cell batteries, are the flat, round batteries used in a variety of common consumer electronics devices including children’s toys, scales, watches, hearing aids, remotes and lights.

ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said it’s not always immediately apparent a child has swallowed a battery, but the consequences can be devastating.

“Button batteries burn through soft tissue in as little as two hours and continue to pose a severe injury risk for children,” Ms Rickard said.

The new Button Battery Taskforce will look at how the batteries and their inclusion in products can be improved to minimise risk.

A safety warning notice was issued by then Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert in March this year.

The Commission will deliver a draft recommendation by the end of the year, with a final recommendation to follow next year.

A consultation process is currently underway until September 30 for public submissions.

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