Child Safe Packaging Group

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Developments in Child Resistant Packaging Sol
Date posted: Monday 09 July, 2001 at 10:45am
Page Title: Developments in Child Resistant Packaging Solutions
Developments in Child Resistant Packaging Solutions & Imminent New Standards & Legislation 12th July 2001
By Stephen Wilkins

Within the context of improving packaging accessibility and functionality, child resistant packaging presents a series of special problems;
or to the designer a series of special challenges.

It is well to remember that from the outset child resistant packaging is designed to resist opening by a proportion of those who might encounter it, namely children, but to be easily accessible by adults.

Here is the definition of child resistant (CR) packaging -
???Child resistant packaging is packaging that is difficult for children to open within a reasonable period but that presents no difficulty for adults to use properly???

Another point to bear in mind is the comment, which you will have heard today, concerning packaging related injuries. The figure of 60,000 occurrences has been quoted, but in fact that figure excludes accidents related to medical or pharmaceutical packaging, those are almost half as many incidents again. Indeed our own research indicates not 30,000 but 45,000. More about all of this later though.

THE HISTORY, REGULATIONS & TECHNOLOGY OF CHILD RESISTANT PACKAGING Child resistant packaging emerged in the United States with the Poisons Prevention Packaging Act of 1970. The 1975 Medicines (Child Safety) Regulations in the United Kingdom specified child resistant packaging for some pharmaceuticals, initially solid dose children???s aspirin and paracetamol and subsequently adult versions of these drugs. The UK was the first European Union country to utilise CR packaging, and the second country after the United States. Indeed, even today standards for CR packaging and a legal duty to use the product exist only in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

So what makes a product child resistant? The definitive test is in fact a protocol test where a sample of children is used and asked quite simply to open the pack being tested. The sample is allowed two sessions; five minutes, and then a silent demonstration then a further five minutes. The pack fails, that is, is not considered child resistant, if fifteen percent of the sample open it, prior to demonstration, or twenty percent open it post demonstration.

Sequential testing is used, in other words because each result is plotted on a rising curve with tolerances, a pack can pass or fail using considerably less than the full quota sample.

In the United Kingdom the standards for reclosable CR packaging have been BS 5321 (1975), BS 6652 (1985), BS EN 28317 (1989) and subsequently ISO 8317, this was revised in 2000.
The standards differed primarily in sample size, sample composition and stringency. Adult tests were incorporated as the concept of adult openability assumed increasing importance. For example the latest version of ISO 8317 (2000) has changed the adult age range from 45 to 65 years inclusive to 50-70 years inclusive. This brings the standard into line with the United States protocol and mirrors the advancing age of the population.

In the United Kingdom the only pharmaceutical products requiring to be packed in CR containers were children???s aspirin and paracetamol, and subsequently adult versions of these preparations. Non pharmaceuticals, for example household products, toiletries and horticultural products, were subject to separate regulations where two classifications, ???hazardous??? and ???very hazardous??? required CR packaging. In the United Kingdom these regulations are CHIPS II.

All of the standards to which I have referred cover reclosable child resistant packaging. But non-reclosables ??? blister and strip packs, were accorded the ascription of child resistance if ???designed with a view to being child resistant.??? (1975 Medicines (Child Safety) Regulations) This was a classic ???begging of the qu ...
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