J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

A Most unScientific Study: Childproof Caps

An informal survey of 6 children children ages 4 through 13 seemed to support the old comedy bit about childproof medicine bottle caps being anything but childproof.

4 of the 6 children, including the youngest, had no problem opening a childproof pill bottle.
All 6 of the children were familiar with the push-before-turning mechanism, but only 4 of the children could actually implement the move and successfully open the bottle.

This raises a number of questions.

  1. Are childproof bottle caps truly worth their cost?  Most likely the answer is “yes,” in that they did stop 2 of the 6 children from opening the bottle and we were working with a very small and unScientific sample.
  2. Is there a more effective childproof cap to be developed? Again, the answer is most likely “yes.” There is no excuse for our 4-year-old to have been able to open the bottle. Similarly, it is sickening to hear someone assert that “if she is smart enough to open the bottle, she is probably smart enough to not mistake the pills for candy.”
  3. Are childproof bottle caps environmentally sound? They have an extra layer of rubber or plastic or some such thing inside the threads. One would assume there is more plastic involved in the creation of these bottle caps than in others.

You can find many examples of mini-experiments testing the effectiveness of childproof caps online. For example, we found this 2009 report from Seattle’s King 5 News. Their results were, sadly, similar to ours.

What are your experiences with childproof caps on medicine bottles?  Please share your thoughts below.

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