Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size

    Childproof Caps Prevent Deaths

    Little Hands Can't Open Pill Containers
    WebMD Health News


    Sept. 20, 2002 -- Those pesky childproof medicine bottle caps could test the temper of Mother Teresa, but the fact is, they do their job -- keeping youngsters out of harm's way. The child-resistant caps may have prevented more than 90 deaths of children under 5 during the 17 years following the enactment of the packaging laws, according to a new study.

    In spite of our frustration with childproof caps, child-resistant packaging has reduced aspirin poisonings, according to researcher Gregory B. Rodgers, PhD, of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. As a result, deaths of children under the age of 5 from aspirin poisoning decreased by 34%.

    Conducted between 1958 and 1990, the study is the aftermath of several FDA conferences held in the late '50s and early '60s triggered by the excessive amounts of aspirin poisonings. From 1958 to 1963, there were an average of 120 deaths a year from aspirin poisoning in children under 5. Of all fatal child poisonings, aspirin poisoning accounted for a little more than 25%.

    Officials are now encouraging the development of child-resistant caps that take more brains than brawn to open them. The goal is to decrease frustration with these caps while further reducing the number of childhood deaths from poisonings.

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
    slideshow fetal development
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    What Causes Bipolar
    Woman trying on dress in store
    pregnant woman
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    calendar and baby buggy
    dark chocolate squares