Law honoring Lubbock toddler Reese Hamsmith signed by Biden

Reese Hamsmith
Reese Hamsmith(, Trista Hamsmith)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Aug 15, a bill honoring the death of Lubbock toddler Reese Hamsmith crossed President Joe Biden’s desk for signature.

After nearly two years of fighting for change, Reese’s mother, Trista, informed KCBD that Reese’s Law was signed this evening. The law is intended to help prevent deadly button battery ingestion, especially for young children.

In Oct of 2020, 17-month-old Reese swallowed a button battery. The battery left Reese with burns in her throat, esophagus and on her vocal cords.

After being treated at UMC, she was moved to Texas Children’s in Houston where she died from her injuries just six weeks after the battery was removed.

Soon after this tragedy, Reese’s mother, Trista, started a campaign, warning other of the dangers these batteries present to young children. She began a petition to help pass Reese’s Law, which currently has nearly 125 thousand signatures.

“As a mom, I cannot tell you the cost to add safer closures to products with button batteries,” she stated in the petition. “I can, however, confidently speak to the cost of not having these safety measures in place.”

In Sept 2021, Representative Jodey Arrington joined with Illinois Rep. Robin Kelly to introduce Reese’s Law to the US House of Representatives. The House passed the law in July of this year. It was then passed in the Senate on Aug 2 and delivered to the President’s desk on Aug 15. Biden officially signed the bill into law on Aug 16.

This new bill requires the Consumer Product Safety Commission to establish product safety standards with batteries that could be easily swallowed, including button cell or coin batteries.

Products containing these batteries must include:

  • A warning label instructing users to keep these batteries out of reach of children
  • A battery compartment that prevents access to the batteries by children six years old or younger

In addition, batteries sold separately must also have child-resistance packaging consistent with CPSC regulations.

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