Preventing child injury from button batteries

Coin batteries

Coin-sized button batteries are a risk to children, especially those under 6 years old.

Inside small devices may be powerful coin-sized button batteries that can cause severe injuries when swallowed. These batteries can appear ‘invisible’ to parents because devices come with the batteries already installed. When a child swallows or inserts a battery in the nose or ears, it can cause severe burn injuries in as little as 2 hours.

The Battery Controlled website raises awareness on how parents and caregivers can prevent child injuries associated with coin-sized lithium batteries. It includes facts on battery injuries, information on how to keep children safe, and what to do if a coin-sized button battery is swallowed.

Toys with small parts – safety standards

Toys with small parts that children could swallow or choke on can cause injury or even death. Under New Zealand’s compulsory product safety standard for toys, toys used by children up to 3 years of age need to meet AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2002.

The standard covers toy safety and provides information about a cylinder to measure toys/toy parts. If a toy/toy part can fit completely into the cylinder without compressing it, then it is too small and does not meet the standard. Generally, if the toy/toy part is smaller than a 35mm film canister, it will not meet the standard.

Several other voluntary standards cover toy safety. The AS/NZS ISO 8124 set covers the physical features, flammability, toxicity, and safety of toys, and the safety of activity-type toys. AS/NZS 62115 covers the safety of electric toys.

Buy AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2013

Published in consumer and occupational safety.