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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Open and Close

For packaging to be child-resistant, it must be difficult for a child under the age of four years and four months (52 months) to open or gain access to the contents in a reasonable period – but not challenging for an adult up to 70 years old to use properly. This is the generally accepted definition, and is used in international and European standards as well as the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in the US (it is worth noting at this point that child-resistant packaging is not ‘child-proof’).

Child-resistant reclosable packs were first introduced in the UK in the mid- 1970s as an American import and have achieved increasing acceptance in the UK and other EU member states over the past 40 years. In Britain, non-reclosable child-resistant packs were slow to emerge and were only standardised in 2001. As well as being subject to international, European and American standards, the use of child-resistant packs for certain products has been set out in various regulations, including the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 and the globally harmonised system of classification and labelling chemicals, which came into full force in 2015.

Since its introduction, this type of packaging has been improved and made more effective, not only in levels of resistance to opening by children but in its ease-of-use by adults. In addition, increasing and ongoing efforts have been made to create more lightweight packaging across the board.

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Stephen Wilkins was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Child-Safe Packaging Group upon its formation in 1995 and has driven its activities since then. In addition, he is Director of Davies Development and Testing and sits on a number of BSI and ISO committees concerned with developing standards for packaging. Stephen attended the University of Durham Business School, UK, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration.
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