For the "Tri" model, three buttons must be pressed simultaneously. Picture: EPSRC
Read aloud British researchers have developed novel drug packaging that is child resistant yet easy for adults to open. The opening mechanisms are designed so that they are easy to use by adult hands, while the smaller children's hands can not trigger the mechanisms. This is reported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in Swindon (UK). "Press the lock down, press firmly together and turn it". Statements of this kind on the leaflets of many medications, especially elderly patients often bring to despair. The drugs are therefore inaccessible to children, but many adults do not manage to open the packaging. In a survey, 90 percent of patients said they had difficulty opening pills, tablet tubes, and vials.

In the worst case, the drugs are transferred from patients to other containers? with the result that in the United Kingdom alone an estimated 100, 000 cases of intoxication occur in infants each year. Therefore, the team of psychologists, technicians and designers of the EPSRC placed great emphasis on practical relevance in the development of their new packaging and tested the prototypes of 250 test persons between the ages of 20 and 84 years.

The researchers have now patented three safe yet easy-to-open models: The "Slide" package is similar to a small safe and can only be opened if three sliding buttons are correctly aligned. The model "Tri" is, as the name suggests, a package in which three buttons must be pressed simultaneously to access the content. The hands of children are too small, because the buttons are quite far apart. The third model called "Poke" is based on a similar principle: a finger has to be inserted into a long tube to push the button to open the package. Also for this are children's fingers too short. The next step is now the search for partners and licensees for an industrial production of packaging, the scientists said.

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