Fifty years ago, “easy to open” packaging of common household products and medicines was the leading cause of unintentional poisoning of children aged five and under. Today, thanks to increased safety features, child resistant packaging like zippers and caps have allowed us to embrace the modern conveniences of flexible packaging for thousands of items. Child-resistant pouches are an innovative flexible packaging solution available in a variety of sizes, dimensions, and materials. For companies who must comply with child safety requirements while competing in the product marketing arena, child-resistant pouches offer these important benefits.
One of the hundreds of conveniences we enjoy today is the resealable flexible package. The foremost example is the transparent plastic reclosable bag we use to store leftover food. Other examples are reclosable pouches containing dishwasher soaps, household cleansers and polishers, and other goods.
50 Years of Protective Legislation
Fifty years ago, “easy to open” packaging of common household products and medicines was the leading cause of unintentional poisoning of children aged five and under. It resulted in 500 deaths each year. This disturbing number spurred the passage of landmark legislation, known as the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 (PPPA), to prevent accidental access to hazardous household products through protective packaging.
Specifically, the PPPA required that packaging for numerous household products and drugs be “designed and constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open within a reasonable time, and not difficult for normal adults to use properly.”
The resulting packaging came to be known as child-resistant packaging. Complete requirements are specified in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (16 CFR Part 1700).
PPPA-Compliant Packaging Focuses on Child-Resistant Closures
Caps and zippers are two primary components utilized in PPPA-compliant packaging.
- The child-resistant cap prevents accidental access to consumer medications and pharmaceuticals, as well as liquid cleaners and furniture polish, which are sold and stored in rigid plastic containers and could be harmful to small children if ingested, inhaled, or mishandled.
- The child-resistant zipper prevents accidental access to hazardous household products that are sold and stored in bags or pouches and could harm small children if ingested, inhaled, or mishandled.
- One child-resistant zipper is a specially-designed, double-lock, press to close zipper style that enables a flexible pouch to be reclosed as its contents are used over time. This special plastic zipper works effectively with many different pouch materials, including those that are FDA-approved for contact with food and drugs. The Fresh-Lock® patented Child-Resistant Zipper is an outstanding example of closures developed for special packaging.
As with child-resistant caps, product pouches with child-resistant zippers have proven effective in reducing accidental injuries and deaths among small children. Today, 31 children under age five die each year from accidental poisonings, a reduction of 80% in 50 years.
Five Advantages of Flexible Child-Resistant Pouches
Child-resistant pouches are an innovative flexible packaging solution available in a variety of sizes, dimensions, and materials. For companies who must comply with child safety requirements while competing in the product marketing arena, child-resistant pouches offer five important benefits, as described below.
- Pouches can be made with food-grade plastic, with optimum thickness for strength and durability and able to accept the double-lock child-resistant zipper closure.
- Pouches feature a print-ready opaque or metallized film exterior or ‘skin’ that keeps contents out of sight from children. In addition, it protects against light damage to maintain product freshness or efficacy.
- These special film exteriors are also where your printing magic happens. Pouches can be printed with full-color, high-definition marketing graphics and color-matched logos as well as product ingredients, directions for use, and other copy including fine print. Gloss or matte finishes, spot holograms, and spot gloss can be added for the ultimate in visual impact for your product and brand.
- Unlike conventional bags, a stand-up pouch design makes pouches easy to ship, store, and shelve.
- Pouches are a greener and more cost-efficient alternative to rigid containers, requiring less material and being lighter to ship.
Child-resistant pouches offer these diverse benefits while protecting against accidental handling, inhalation, or ingestion of consumer products that can be hazardous to small children.
Learn more about our flexible packaging and child-resistant packaging options, or contact us for a tour of our state-of-the-art printing and packaging facility.