Child-Resistant Packaging

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In the 1960s there were several ingestions of aspirin by children. Many of these resulted in serious injury or death. In response, the United States Congress passed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970 which requires child-resistant packaging on products that could cause serious injury if accessed by young children.

Child-resistant packaging, or "special packaging," is designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open within a reasonable time but not difficult for normal adults. Child-resistant packaging saves lives. It is estimated that more than eight hundred children's lives have been saved by the requirement of child-resistant packaging on aspirin and prescription drugs. However, such packaging is called child-resistant, rather than childproof, because some children will be able to open it. For this reason experts caution people to lock up all medicine and hazardous material out of the reach of children.

Suzanne Barone

(see also: Childhood Injury; Safety; Safety Standards )