When it comes to protecting children from potentially harmful products, child proof packaging is of the utmost importance. If you manufacture products such as supplements, household cleaners or pharmaceuticals, it is your responsibility to make sure children can’t easily open and ingest what’s inside. Even snack food packaging can be made to prevent kids from getting into and overeating snack foods. Here’s what you should know about regulations associated with child-resistant packaging.

CPSC Regulations

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has a Poison Prevention Packaging Act that requires certain substances and products to be contained in child-resistant packaging. This type of packaging is also referred to as “special packaging” and is meant to prevent children from unintentionally poisoning themselves by ingesting products that are potentially harmful and/or toxic. Such packaging should prevent make it “significantly difficult” for any child under the age of 5 to access the products inside.

How Products Are Tested To Ensure Compliance

If you would like information about detailed requirements for child-resistant packaging, you’re bound to be disappointed. The CPSC does not certify or approve special packaging, and you won’t find published regulations detailing exactly how to comply. The Commission is, in fact, prohibited from requiring manufacturers to create specific package designs. Thus, it is ultimately up to the manufacturer to ensure its packaging complies with standards the Commission has established for child-resistant packaging. In cases of food supplements, a quality zippered package is often sufficient to keep young children out.

It’s essential not to misinterpret the lack of detailed packaging requirements to mean you can ignore the regulations altogether. In fact, doing so could result in hefty fines. In the case of pharmacists, if regulated drugs are not dispensed in special packaging, the responsible individual(s) may be fined up to $250,000 and may be criminally prosecuted. If an organization is responsible for failure to provide child-safe packaging, it may be fined up to $500,000.

If you sell supplements and not regulated drugs, you may think you’re less responsible to follow child-resistant packaging regulations. However, it is possible for the CPSC to seek court orders against violators. They may also seek authorization to seize any consumer packages that do not comply with standards. It is best to be a supplement packaging company that carefully follows all the rules and works to ensure consumer safety.

Products That Require Child Proof Packaging

There are a variety of products that should always use child proof packaging. Such packaging is not required for snack food packaging. The regulation applies primarily to pharmaceuticals, but it also concerns dietary supplements as well. Here are a few of the ingredients/substances that require child-safe packaging:

  • Dietary supplements containing iron
  • Aspirin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Controlled drugs
  • Iron-containing drugs

In addition to these consumable substances, non-consumable household products are also required to have special packaging. Household cleaners, turpentine, furniture polish and sulfuric acid must all be placed in appropriate packaging that children can’t easily open. An entire list of products and substances requiring special packaging can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 16, Volume 2, Section 1700-14.