There are so many factors to consider when you’re deciding on the type of packaging for your company. One of these factors is whether you should use child resistant packaging or not. This type of packaging comes with hard-to-open bottle caps that are formulated to be child-resistant. This type of packaging has its advantages and disadvantages, so before you decide, you must know everything about child-resistant packaging. You’re in luck as we will be discussing them in this article.
What is Child Resistant Packaging?
Child resistant (C-R) packaging or special packaging, as others call it, is used to minimize the risks of poisoned children. Children usually ingest potentially hazardous items such as prescription and over-the-counter medications, household chemicals, and pesticides. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has the right to regulate child resistant packaging via the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA), which has become effective since 1972.
Based on the PPPA, the term child-resistant packaging means packaging that is designed to make it significantly difficult for children who are under five years to open a product that may contain a toxic or harmful amount of substance. It is also designed so that it’s easier for adults to open the product.
What Products Need Child Resistant Packaging?
You can find the complete list of substances that require child-resistant packaging in the 16 CFR §1700.14. But for your reference, below are specific examples of over-the-counter medications that require child resistant packaging:
- iron-containing drugs and dietary supplements
- methyl salicylate
- OTC switch drugs
What are the Advantages of Child Resistant Packaging?
The purpose of using child-resistant packaging is to ensure children’s safety. More products in the domestic environment are potentially dangerous to children. This can be anything from bleach to liquid nicotine and other household products. As a matter of fact, two companies in the US have had to do a full product recall because the essential oils that they were supplying weren’t in child-resistant packaging.
Using child resistant packaging for your products will help ensure that your products are packaged in a way that minimizes the risk of potential ingestion when it is taken into the home. It is your responsibility as a brand owner to protect children from potentially harmful substances.
Take cannabis, for example. Now that it’s slowly being legalized, a lot of people are bringing up the topic of child-resistant packaging. They aren’t just focusing on it, but they’re also reinventing it. We can’t deny that the sales for legal cannabis have been higher than expected, so the packaging laws are being addressed along the way. That’s because cannabis is potentially harmful to children.
Children mistake edible cannabis (gummy bears, brownies, lollipops, etc.) for regular food, so they end up eating it without knowing it’s harmful. Edible cannabis contains very high amounts of cannabis, so the symptoms are severe when children eat it. Small children are at higher risks based on their size and weight. Many young children who have eaten edible cannabis need to be rushed to the hospital due to the severity of the symptoms.
With child-resistant packaging around, you are 110% sure that no child will be at risk of accidentally consuming cannabis.
What are the Disadvantages of Child Resistant Packaging?
While child-resistant packaging may have its advantages, it also has its disadvantages. This type of packaging can be a problem for some aged people or individuals with disabilities. Regulations need to test the designs first to verify that most adults won’t have this problem, and for them to easily access the package. Some jurisdictions may allow pharmacists to give medications in non-child-resistant packages only if there aren’t any children in the household.
The regulations are based on the protocols of performance tests of packages done with actual children. This is to determine that the packages can be opened. Recently, they are doing additional tests to determine if aged people or individuals with disabilities can open the same packages.
Do You Need Child Resistant Packaging for Your Company?
You’re the only person who can best answer this question because it all depends on what kind of products you’re selling. Are your products potentially harmful to children? If your answer is yes, then you need child-resistant packaging.
How do you make your products child-resistant?
There are five ways for you to make your products child-resistant. See below:
- Avoid visual cues. Children love shapes and bright colors, so make sure to avoid such to instruct users on how to open the package. Use visual cues that are unique to adults instead, as children find it unappealing and unrecognizable. Also, use text instructions on the labels.
- Dexterity. Children develop their motor skills when they’re around eight years old, but they can already push and open containers at a younger age. Add applied force to the packaging so that children won’t have the strength to open the product.
- Increase the packaging size. Increasing the size of your packaging is a simple way to make your product child-resistant. For example, if a user needs to open a container using two fingers, it should be customized to fit adult fingers. This, together with dexterity, will make it harder for children to open the product. The smaller the container is, the more accessible it is to children.
- Test your product packaging. You should remember to test your packaging to stay compliant. Do this by performing a routine test with children, and put them into groups. You’ll need 50 children (between 0 to 5 years old), separated into 3 categories per test. They need to open the containers with their teeth in a 10-minute test.
- Unit-dose packaging. Most pharmaceutical companies package pills in bottles. Their small containers have caps that you can easily twist to open. Because of this, children have the opportunity to open the bottle easily. To make sure that your product is child-resistant, you need to design it in a way that users need to apply force to open it. This is something children do not have, so it will be hard for them to open the product.