Childsafe packaging: Top FAQs answered

The concept of child safety extends beyond providing bike gears and putting up childsafe installations in homes and schools. The several cases of accidental child poisoning from everyday household products led to the drafting and passing of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act in 1972 by the US Congress.

Childsafe packaging involves the incorporation of special packaging in household goods to mitigate the risks of children opening containers and ingesting harmful substances. The compliance with the child resistance standards can only be proved by a certificate provided by the appropriate certification agency such as the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

People ask several questions about childsafe packaging, and this post aims to answer some of them comprehensively.

  1. Which products are eligible for childsafe packaging?

The Poison Protection Acts stipulate that all freely available products that contain irritating, toxic, and flammable substances should have childsafe packaging. Particular OTC products eligible for childproofing include iron-containing drugs, Ibuprofen, aspirin, mouthwash, naproxen, acetaminophen, and iron-containing supplements, among others.

  • Which techniques are employed?

Manufacturers utilize several tricks to make packaging child-resistant. It’s important to consider that it’s challenging for children aged between 42 and 51 months to perform two simultaneous actions. For instance, children in this age group cannot squeeze a cap and turn it in the appropriate direction. It’s common to see products with locking parts separated wide apart to prevent a child from reaching them with the fingers of one arm. Additionally, the opening sections of plastic film packages such as blister packs should be hidden or designed in a way that one will need a tool to open them.

  • How do certification bodies establish child resistance in packages?

About 50 children aged between 42 and 51 months are divided into three groups, specifically 42- 44, 45-47, and 48-51 months. The children are given about 10 minutes to open the packages, even using their teeth. Additional tests involving group(s) of 50 children are paramount if the assessors fail to come into a conclusion on the initial evaluation.

  • Are senior-friendliness tests necessary?

Yes. As much as the regulatory bodies are keen on ensuring that eligible products are child safe, they also carry out tests to determine if a senior can open easily open and close(if necessary) the package. One hundred individuals aged between 50 and 70 years are asked to open and close a child-proof(C-P) package in five minutes. The seniors who fail the test are requested to open and close two non-C-P packages in one minute. The tests are deemed successful if 90% of the individuals pass the one-minute and five-minute tests.

  • Is labeling mandatory?

Labeling C-R packaging is not a requirement as per the protection law, and consequently, it becomes difficult for consumers to know whether particular packages meet the C-R standards. Nevertheless, consumers have the right to demand proof of C-R certification. Therefore, it becomes necessary for the bottle and packaging manufacturers to obtain certification to protect themselves from legal suits.

The sole aim of enforcing childsafe packaging is to protect children from ingesting potentially hazardous chemicals stored in various packages. The certification bodies carry out tests on various packages to determine if they are both childproof and senior-friendly before being released to the market. The answers above provide in-depth insight into childproof packaging to both consumers and anyone considering to venture into the package manufacturing.

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