Types Of Child-Resistant Caps

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: January 29, 2020

Using child-resistant caps is required for packaging a number of chemical, pharmaceutical, industrial, and household products. Combined with the appropriate container, child-resistant capable caps are a vital defense against child fatalities due to ingestion of harmful or toxic products. In fact, since the PPPA laws were enacted in 1970 there has been a 90-percent decrease in child deaths caused by accessing harmful products.

Basic Requirements for Child-Resistant Packaging

Though no packaging can be child-proof, there are a number of packaging combinations that are considered child-resistant. The regulations and requirements for child-resistant packaging, also referred to as special packaging, are enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). To determine if the packaging is child-resistant the CPSC tests a group of 50 children from 42-51 months old. The children are split into groups and given 10 minutes to try to open the packaging. If more than 80 percent succeed, the packaging fails child-resistant testing standards. The packaging is also tested against a panel of adults and needs to be easy enough for 90 percent of them to open in five minutes. Other forms of child-resistant packaging like blister packs or pouches must meet separate requirements. Blister packs fail if children access eight different units or a toxic amount of the product; whichever happens first. 

Popular Child-Resistant Caps

Child-resistant packaging comes in a variety of styles. Bottles and containers have qualities that help make them child-resistant, but ultimately it's the cap that makes a package truly child-resistant. Manufactured child-resistant caps make bottles and other containers fully compliant with PPPA legal regulations. Child-resistant bottle caps come in several varieties including:
  • Rim-snap
  • Squeeze-and-turn
  • Push-and-turn
  • REL
  • Squeeze-and-pull
Some caps are made specifically for use on plastic bottles while others are designed for use with glass. For example, PP push-turn threaded caps are often used with amber plastic bottles to store or dispense medication at pharmacies. Plastic push-turn caps are the most commonly used tool to create child-resistant packaging combinations using durable glass or plastic containers. Glass syrup or Boston Round bottles are often paired with BPA-free, FDA-approved SensoCaps™. SensoCaps have a polyethylene foam liner underneath the cap. Before selecting caps and bottles make sure packaging combinations meet CPSC regulations. You can also purchase all-in-one child-resistant packaging options, like PP plastic dropper bottles with push-turn dome caps to ensure you meet regulation standards. 

Benefits of Child-Resistant Plastic Caps

Aside from the obvious benefit of protecting children from ingesting harmful products, child-resistant plastic caps have other practical benefits. Child-resistant plastic caps are economical, recyclable, and made for several types of bottles, jugs, and vials. Use child-resistant capable dropper caps with glass or plastic bottles when packaging tinctures and liquid medications, to help protect children and provide a convenient application tool. Other options like two-piece push and turn plastic SecureCaps™ are manufactured child-resistant for use on plastic dropper bottles. 

Tamper-Evident Seals with Child-Resistant Caps

Child-resistant caps and their corresponding bottles are crucial for long-term storage and child safety measures but tamper-evident solutions can also be helpful. Tamper-evident seals can prevent immediate access to new medications, household cleaners, and industrial chemicals or solvents should a child remove the child-resistant cap. Tamper-evident foil seals require dexterity most children under the age of five don't have. Other options like pull-rings, require a fair amount of strength to break. Using these tamper-evident seals beneath child-resistant caps, provides an additional layer of protection should a child get the cap off a new package.

Child-resistant caps help reduce liability in the event of accidental contact or ingestion. The FDA also suggests adding proper storage instructions on labeling to further protect your company from legal action. Proper labeling is also a form of protecting children, as it informs adults about recommended storage for optimum safety. To find out more about specific PPPA child-resistant regulations visit the CPSC online, and view an entire list of products that require special packaging.

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