In B2C industries of all kinds, consumer safety is among the top considerations when making packaging decisions.
From pharmaceuticals to cannabis, dry products to household cleaning supplies, accidental ingestion or contact with a product can have serious consequences, including injury, illness, or death — most tragically when it comes to children.
Responsible brands not only adopt child-resistant packaging as a best practice but do so in compliance with laws and regulations established for child safety as well.
Here’s everything you need to know about child-resistant packaging to deliver your product to market stylishly and safely, giving customers peace of mind.
What Is Child-Resistant Packaging?
When it comes to products that are potentially harmful to children, child-resistant packaging is essential. Child-resistant packaging is a type of special packaging that reduces the risk of accidental consumption in children aged five and under.
This type of packaging is designed to make it significantly more difficult for children to access the contents and avoid harm.
Since children lack some of the finer motor skills and dexterity of adults, features requiring multiple movements and varying pressures are incorporated to keep products secure and out of children’s hands. Written instructions also serve as a barrier to comprehension.
Pull tab press to close zipper thumb pocket zip-seal, and pinch-style packaging are just a few of the many highly secure types of child resistant flexible packaging. Push and twist safety caps are possibly the most well-known rigid package, used to secure over-the-counter medicine and prescription pill bottles.
What’s the History of Child-Resistant Packaging?
Although we now take child-resistant packaging requirements for granted, its mandatory use in the industry has a shorter history than you may realize.
In reaction to a series of child poisonings from accidental ingestion, the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) was passed in 1970 to reduce the risk of harm to children under the age of five.
The act put the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in charge of regulating this type of packaging as well as establishing standards, rules, and regulations for child resistance.
Although there is no such thing as completely child-proof packaging, the introduction of child-resistant packaging has saved lives. By some estimates, the rate of death by poisoning in children under 5 has decreased by 1.4 per million since the introduction of the PPPA.
Why Should You Use Child-Resistant Packaging?
There are many reasons to use child-resistant packaging for your product. Here are a few of the most important.
Children are naturally curious. Across industries, many products may have colorful or appealing packaging, which children could break into at any time. As such, of all the considerations, safety is number one.
From household cleaners to prescriptions, to cannabis, there are many examples in history of unintentional death and poisoning that could have been prevented with superior child-resistant features.
Since the establishment of the PPPA, the use of child-resistant packaging is not only a best practice but a baseline requirement for many products. Commonly regulated products include medications, household chemicals, and cannabis products.
Selling your product without independent third-party testing that meets the CPSC’s guidelines for child-resistant packaging and labeling could leave your company vulnerable to costly penalties, lawsuits, and fines.
With the growth of eCommerce, there are more products on the market than ever. The ease of purchasing goods and access to reviews and production information has created an increasingly discerning consumer base. With this uptick in competition, it can be hard to distinguish your product from the crowd.
Using the highest quality child-resistant packaging available is a great way to establish consumer trust, leading to increased sales and loyal customers with peace of mind.
Besides protecting the consumer, the security features of child-resistant packaging also create ideal conditions for edible products. Since many child-resistant packages have multiple seals, they protect the contents from exposure to the elements, including oxidation and moisture, preventing costly loss.
When it comes to delivering your product to market, you want to use only the best materials. Opting for industry-leading child-resistant packaging can give you the assurance that your product will arrive in top quality and as safely as possible for the consumer.
What Products Are Required To Use Child-Resistant Packaging?
Under the mandate of the CPSC, there are many products that are required by law to use child-resistant packaging.
Here are a few of the most common products:
The incentive to pass the PPPA in 1970 was largely due to a series of child poisonings from accidental ingestion of medications.
Common over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers containing ibuprofen and aspirin, and allergy medications containing diphenhydramine are all required to have child-resistant packaging. Even in relatively small doses, these medications can be dangerous to children.
Pills are commonly packaged in two common ways to increase child safety. The most common are push and twist bottles that increase the difficulty of access for children. They will often have an additional foil-wrapped top for an added layer of protection.
The second most common are blister packages which house pills in plastic molds that you press through an aluminum backing.
Many of our homes are stocked with common household products containing hazardous chemicals which can have dangerous effects if consumed by children and adults alike.
Since the introduction of the PPPA, many products we commonly store under our kitchen sinks have child-resistant features. Common cleaners like bleach, turpentine, and furniture are among the most toxic chemicals used daily.
They are typically packaged with squeeze and twist caps, much like the ones found on mouthwashes and liquid and pod-type laundry detergents, products that also require child-resistant packaging by law.
Some dry products that we commonly keep in our homes can be dangerous to children.
Products that contain 10% or more sodium or potassium hydroxide and dietary supplements containing iron are on the top of this list.
Since the legalization of medical marijuana in California in 1996, there has been much progress in the world of cannabis. In 2022, 39 states have legalized medical marijuana, and 19 have legalized recreational cannabis. As such, these products are more widely available than ever.
Child-resistant packaging is a must-have to prevent accidental ingestion of cannabis-infused candies and gummies, products that often have colorful packaging that appeals to children.
Besides being the world’s first lab-certified child-resistant bag, Dymapak’s Secure Sack is one of the safest and most secure child-resistant bags on the market based on independent trials.
The Secure Sack has a patented press to close zipper design that safely maintains, stores, and secures vape cartridges, cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates, and other cannabis products.
When it comes to sending their cannabis products to market, industry leaders favor these superior child-resistant features.
How Can You Tell if Your Packaging Is Child-Resistant?
Besides being required by law, there is no better way to determine if your packaging is child-resistant than having it lab-certified by an independent third-party company that uses the CPSC’s standards for child resistance.
Since the passing of the PPPA in 1970, the U.S. has established strict standards for child-resistant packaging. This has increased consumer trust and reduced preventable injury. Receiving this lab certification lends confidence to both producer and consumer alike.
Under the current CPSC protocols and standards, a lab certification uses children aged 42-51 months to test the child resistance of the packaging. A package is considered to pass the child resistance test if 85% of the children sampled are unable to open the packaging after five minutes and 80% are unable to open it after a demonstration.
Dymapak’s Secure Sack far exceeds that metric with a 98% child resistance rate.
Is Child-Resistant Packaging Customizable?
You may think that in order to comply with child-resistant packaging standards, you will have to sacrifice a unique package that properly showcases your brand. This is not the case.
There are unique solutions to each packaging problem — allowing companies to deliver their product safely and securely in visually appealing formats.
When it comes to designing a unique package for your product, there is limitless potential with Dymapak’s Secure Sack for applications in the cannabis industry and beyond.
Due to the design of the pouch, Dymapak can produce custom bags of all different sizes at competitive prices since production requires no special molds and has minimal tooling costs.
To help your product stand out, the Secure Sack has ample space for branding and product information. Dymapak can also print glossy or matte finishes with up to nine colors, making it true to your brand vision.\
The Bottom Line
It would be hard to say that the passing of the PPPA and regulation of child-resistant packaging has resulted in anything but positive outcomes.
Protecting both producers and consumers alike, child-resistant packaging requirements have made the world a safer place for our loved ones. Let Dymapak formulate the special packaging solution you’ve been looking for, and check all the boxes for compliance, regulations, branding, and more.