Button batteries - safer products and packaging ahead

In February 2018, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister launched a Product Safety Policy Statement designed to get button battery manufacturers and retailers to make their products safer.

In New Zealand, around 20 children a year are admitted to Starship Hospital from swallowing button batteries, sometimes needing serious emergency surgery and extensive continuing care.

The Statement provides advice and encourages the industry, which know their products and supply lines, to develop innovative solutions to make them safer.

The Hon Kris Faafoi (Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister) says this is a necessary step to improve the safety of children and families.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will measure the industry’s response and whether products have become safer. Hospital data will also be included with this assessment.

Read a copy of the Minister Faafoi’s public announcement(external link).

More information on the Button batteries; safer products and packaging Product Safety Policy Statement.

Button battery time-lapse video

button battery time lapse video

View transcript


Duration: 0:41

Using ham as an analogue for the human oesophagus, this time-lapse video shows the effects of an electric current from a button battery that — when it comes into contact with fluids — destroys tissue, and can lead to permanent injury or death.