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Child-Resistant…NOT Child Proof

Child holding child-resistant packaging bottle

Many medications, cleaning products and chemicals have child-resistant (CR) lids to protect children. Most people call these “child-proof”. The Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970 states that in order for a product to be child-resistant, 80% of children under age five will not be able to open it within 10 minutes. Studies show that the PPPA has lowered poisonings and poisoning deaths in young children by about 40%. It is important to use CR lids because it gives a couple of extra minutes to catch a child in the act, hopefully before a poisoning happens. However, most children are able to open CR lids if given enough time. Virtually nothing is child-proof when it comes to poisonings. CR lids along with other safety measures are needed to help prevent poisonings.

Tips to help keep children safe:

  • Store dangerous products out of sight and out of reach.
  • Close CR lids tightly (be aware of sticky liquid medicine that can build up and make it hard for the lid to close. Wipe clean before putting on the lid.)
  • Never call medicine “candy”.
  • Do not take your own medicine in front of children. Kids like to copy adults.
  • Be aware when visiting other homes that may not have medicine and chemicals stored safely.
  • Be careful when you have a product out to use it. This is when most poisonings happen. If you need to step away, take either the child or the product with you.
  • If a poisoning does happen, call Utah Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 for fast, free, expert poison help 24/7.



  1. Walton WW. An evaluation of the Poison Prevention Packaging Act. Pediatrics. 1982 Mar;69(3):363-70. PMID: 7063294.

​​​​​​​Author: Sherrie Pace, MS, MCHES® Health Educator, Outreach Coordinator, Utah Poison Control Center