Reps. Arrington, Kelly Lead Introduction of Reese’s Law
Washington, D.C., September 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC— Today, Rep. Jodey Arrington (TX-19) joined Rep. Robin Kelly in introducing Reese’s Law, legislation aimed at preventing deadly button battery ingestion.
“As a parent, I cannot imagine the heartbreak that the Hamsmith family has endured since losing baby Reese last December,” said Rep. Arrington. “As a Member of Congress, I believe the most important responsibility of our government is the safety and security of our citizens.
“Each year, thousands of toddlers are rushed to the hospital after accidental battery ingestions. The Consumer Product Safety Commission acknowledges the urgent nature of this issue, yet they could take 3-5 years to pass stricter safety standards. Reese’s Law will guarantee within one year that button batteries have clear warning labels, child-resistant packaging, and secure placement in products.
“I am proud of my constituent, Trista Hamsmith, who has been a mother on a mission to prevent this tragedy from happening to other families and I’m glad to join Rep. Robin Kelly in leading on this important issue.”
3-year-old Reese Hamsmith of Lubbock tragically passed away in December 2020 after swallowing a small button battery. Reese’s Law requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to develop stronger safety standards for button batteries within one-year, including warning labels and child resistant packaging on button batteries.
Last year alone, nearly 8,000 children were treated in the emergency room for battery ingestions. When ingested, these batteries have the potential to burn through a child’s esophagus or stomach, creating life-threatening medical complications.
Since learning of Reese’s death, Rep. Arrington has engaged incessantly with CPSC, expressing grave concern about Reese’s death and asking the Commission for information on safety measures, and calling for the immediate development of mandatory standards for button batteries.