In this issue we answer the following key questions:
- Why do we have requirements for button and coin cell batteries?
- Where can I find the requirements for toys?
- What are the requirements for button and coin cell batteries?
- Why are the requirements for coin batteries different to button batteries?
- When will the requirements become mandatory in the European Union?
Why do we have requirements for button and coin cell batteries?
Coin and button cell batteries are shiny, smooth and small. When lying around they are attractive for children to swallow. This applies not only for young children who explore everything by mouthing, but also for older children, who may see them as candy or just as interesting to try to taste or swallow. Once in the body they can cause severe damage and chemical burns. Several injuries and fatalities have been caused by children swallowing coin or button cell batteries.
Where can I find the requirements for toys?
Requirements for button and coin cell batteries can be found in the global standard IEC 62115:2017 and its European counterpart EN IEC 62115:2020.
What are the requirements for button and coin cell batteries?
There are two main concerns:
- Battery containers containing button or coin cell batteries should not be accessible to children. The use of a tool is required to access them
- How to alert caretakers to the dangers of small batteries. Warnings are required to inform them what to do in the event of a child swallowing coin or button cell batteries
Why are the requirements for coin batteries different to button batteries?
Coin batteries are more powerful lithium batteries. They are more dangerous and therefore the mandatory warnings are more stringent. Coin batteries are wider and slimmer like a coin (examples include 3V CR2025, CR2032 and CR2450). Button batteries have a narrower diameter and are thicker, more like a button (an example is 1.5V LR44 alkaline battery).
When will the requirements become mandatory in the European Union?
In the European Union we currently have a transitional period during which both the old and the new versions of the standard can be used. A transitional period is intended for economic operators to modify their products and instructions, warning them to comply with the new requirements. The transitional period ends February 21, 2022.
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