Child Safe Packaging Group

Child Safety Week – CSPG Response

Date of page: Wed 23 Jun 2004 at 11:18am

23rd June 2003

Child Safety Week – Response from the Child-Safe Packaging Group

The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) has designated the week - Monday 21st June to Sunday 27th June, Child Safety Week and based their campaign this year on problems associated with child poisonings.

Safety above all is the CAPT’s theme and in setting out their case they suggest that one in five toddlers can open a child resistant container.

This is not true.

To clarify the debate the Child-Safe Packaging Group (CSPG) makes the following points;

1. Child resistant packaging systems must be tested in accordance with ISO 8317 2nd edition if they are reclosable or BS 8404 if they are non-reclosable, namely blister packs.

2. ISO 8317 amongst other things says that a pack is child resistant if 80% of a sample of 200 children aged 42 to 51 months fails to open it in two periods of five minutes; one before and one after a silent demonstration.

3. Although the standard sets out that under test conditions 20% of the sample may open a pack and it would still be child resistant; in the vast majority of tests considerably less than 20% actually open the pack.

4. It is important, according to Dr James Robertson, a specialist Paediatrician and consultant to the CSPG, to remember that a toddler is a child from walking age to 36months, thereafter until children start school they are called pre-schoolers.

5. The sample in ISO 8317 is one of pre-schoolers, not toddlers, and if 20% of pre-schoolers can open a child resistant container the statistical inference is that considerably less than 20% of toddlers can do so. Estimates range from zero to two and a half percent.

6. As the CAPT says: nothing is child proof, and the definition of a child resistant containers is ‘ that is difficult for children to open within a reasonable period but that presents no difficulty for adults to use properly.’

The CSPG applauds the stance taken by the CAPT, their work is valuable and over the last twenty years has no doubt been responsible for ever increasing levels of safety to the nation’s children. For its part the Child-Safe Packaging Group, since its formation in 1995, has successfully campaigned for increasing the scope of child resistance for all packages whose contents could cause serious distress to a child in the case of ingestion or other contact.

Stephen Wilkins, Secretary of the Child-Safe Packaging Group, said ‘Child resistant containers have saved lives and continue to do so, they are effective and whilst it is important that parents keep medicines out of the reach of children it is wrong to denigrate the value of child resistant closures in an effort to make parents more prudent.’


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