According to the Center of Disease Control, every day over 300 children in the U.S. ages 0 to 19 are treated in an emergency department as a result of being poisoned, commonly from household cleaners and medicines. Child-proof packaging, as well locking up toxic items, can help to prevent these incidences. Child-proof packaging is one of those things that you probably don’t think a ton about, until your child tries opening up some of these containers. In that case, you start to think about the way things are packaged.
Most, if not all, prescription bottles and over-the-counter drugs have child-proof closures. You have to either push down and twist, or align two parts to open the bottle, all of which I believe successfully keep drugs out of little (and curious) hands. But what about other stuff? For example, I have a big bottle of antacids that my little one got a hold of and she opened them right up because it was a simple flip-top cap (I grabbed the bottle before she could get any out). She then found a nasal spray that I was worried she could get open, but luckily, she couldn’t. I started thinking then about what she could possibly get exposed to if left to her own devices. Yes, some (most?) fault lies with the parents for not watching their kids closely enough, but is there more that could be done on the packaging side? Whenever I am occupied, my little one digs through drawers and cabinets and finds the items you definitely don’t want her to have. It got me wondering if we as a society include child-safe packaging on enough medicinal items? And what about household items like laundry detergent and countertop sprays? Do we need to up the safety of these items, or do parents need to watch their kids better? Or both?
I am all for added safety on products that pose a considerable health threat to children, but I see the other side of the coin too, that adding child-proof packaging to all sorts of products that didn’t have it before would provide a headache to users who just want to quickly start a load of laundry or wipe down the counter. So, should packagers do more or is everything going smoothly as is? Email me and let me know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org