You have enough to worry about as a parent. Are they getting the proper nutrients? Are they safe at home? Are they learning enough at school? Are they properly developing? It is a lot to take on! So how can you ensure that your kids are safe while providing them with the best life possible? In 1970, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act was introduced. This came after many accidents involving children opening household packaging and ingesting the contents. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is the regulator of this specific area. So now that these precautions are in place and regulated, what are the benefits of using child resistant packaging?
Reduce Poisonings and Fatalities
Many households have a plethora of dangerous things around their homes that would be considered normal or even essential. These could include things such as medications, cleaners, soaps, laundry or dishwasher pods, and more. While it may never be intentional, these items around the house could be consumed by young children. Items left in low cabinets, closets, or bathrooms without the proper child-proofing can be hazardous. Children can get into these cabinets or cupboards in the blink of an eye, even with the most watchful parents. Unfortunately, these types of accidents lead to more than 60,000emergency department visits a year for children. Furthermore, on average, a child dies every twelve days due to accidental consumption.
If you suspect that a child has consumed a medication or other poisonous product, the first step is to get help as soon as possible. You can get assistance by calling poison control, the child’s healthcare provider or primary care physician, or by going to the nearest emergency room. Look for several signs and symptoms if you think a child has ingested a toxic substance. These include sore throat, respiratory issues, fatigue, irritability, and jumpiness. If a child does swallow a poisonous substance, there can be short-term side effects such as skin rash or stomach discomfort. In more severe cases, or if left untreated, the child can suffer from brain damage, coma, or even death. That is why it is imperative to ensure items purchased come in child resistant packaging. If things you buy regularly do not come in child resistant packaging, placing them out of reach of children or putting them in a child-proofed cabinet is vital. These steps may seem simple enough, but they could save the life of a curious child.
Protect Your Furry Friends
Children are not the only ones who tend to sneak their way into places they should not be. Household animals are also subject to ingesting whatever poisonous products or medications they can get their paws on. Animals can consume open medications, liquids, or other items. Eating or drinking these products can cause minor to severe issues for your furry friends, ranging from chemical burns, difficulty breathing or swallowing stomach issues, or even death. It’s essential to do your part to protect your animals at home, as they can’t speak for themselves. If you suspect your animal may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, you should immediately call your local veterinarian or rush them to an emergency veterinary clinic.
Types of Child Resistant Packaging
Since the introduction of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act in 1970, there have been several different types of child resistant packaging that have hit the market. These have included child resistant caps, which can be life-saving on medication bottles, cleaners, boxes of laundry or dishwasher pods, and many other items. These caps could include a push-and-turn style, rim-snap, squeeze-and-pull, and others.
Certain medications and over-the-counter products are required to be in child resistant packaging, per regulations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC. If a product contains 10 percent or more hydrocarbons by weight and have a low viscosity, they are required to be in child resistant packaging. These products include acetaminophen, aspirin, diphenhydramine, ibuprofen, substances containing iron, imidazolines, methyl salicylate, mouthwash, and naproxen. Household products and cosmetics are not exempt from these regulations and can include baby oils, sunscreen, hair oils, body and massage oils, makeup removers, and many other items. These products must follow a specific set of guidelines to be considered approved child resistant packaging.
Accidents happen to everyone, even the most watchful parents and adults. That’s why taking the proper steps before an accident occurs is important. Take steps to put child locks or other locking mechanisms on cabinets and drawers that contain items unsafe for children. Also, putting these items out of reach will keep them out of little hands that may not know what harm they could potentially cause. Another great option is to take advantage of drug take-back programs, such as Crush the Crisis. But the best possible option is to keep a keen eye on children and pets and to teach them that certain items are not to be touched or played with.