If you wanted to cut down the leading cause of death for children under five, then around 500 a year, what would you do?
President Nixon signed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act into law on December 30, 1970 to require child-resistant packaging for hazardous household substances and medicines.
Now, about 30 children a year die from accidental poisoning.
What is included in the special, child-resistant packaging requirement?
- Furniture polish
- Prescription drugs
- Lighter fluid
Manufacturers have to include one size of packaging that is not child-resistant, for seniors and the handicapped. It must be clearly labeled, “This package for households without young children.”
People can ask their pharmacists to package pills in non-child-resistant containers.
Grandparents are reminded, however, that though they may no longer be used to having children around, when grandchildren visit, they like to explore.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the American Medical Association (AMA) had tried to address this problem with a 1960 law that required that poisonous substances be labeled such, called the Hazardous Substances Labeling Act.
But, it wasn’t enough. Children under 5 don’t read.
Aspirin was the first substance to be packaged under the new law, starting on August 8, 1972.
What is not included?
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Powdered or effervescent aspirin
- Oral contraceptives
If your child or grandchild has swallowed a poison, call the national Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.
Carol Covin, Granny-Guru
Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers”
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