Performing Double Duty

Many child-safe package designs help improve compliance and provide tamper evidence.
Aug 02, 2011
Volume 35, Issue 8

Hallie Forcinio
Child-resistant (CR) packaging is typically associated with closures that require two simultaneous actions (e.g., squeezing and turning or pressing and turning) or a sequence of actions. In the United States, the Consumer Product Safety Commission requires CR packaging to be senior friendly (SF) as well. Designing a package that is both CR and SF poses significant challenges, but options are increasing.

For example, pharmaceutical manufacturers that prefer blister packaging traditionally have relied on multilayer lidstock laminations with a peelable paper layer to prevent access by children. However, some new structures are eliminating the paper layer to provide easier access for adults while still protecting children.

One structure incorporates layers of printed foil, adhesive, polyester, and heat-seal coating, and seals at lower temperatures than a conventional paper–polyester laminate does, thus enhancing productivity while reducing the amount of heat exposure that the product experiences. Eliminating the paper layer reduces particulate contamination (easy-PIESY Lidding, Constantia Hueck Foils).

A tiny press-and-turn cap imparts child-resistant and tamper-evident properties to a single-dose tube.
A polyester-based lidstock not only eliminates the paper layer, but is available in three levels of CR protection. The all-film coextrusion or coextruded film–foil structure can be configured for peel, peel–push or tool-aided access to the medication inside and can be designed to meet F = 1 requirements, the highest level of child resistance that the Consumer Product Safety Commission recognizes (Safety-Pak Plus PL, PP, or LT lidstock, Winpak Heat Seal Packaging).

The F = 1-rated howell•CR•III wallet can be made with virgin or recycled-content paperboard.
For form–fill–seal packaging such as stick packs, pouches, or barrier overwraps, four standard film constructions provide different degrees of CR protection while maintaining senior friendliness, processability, and performance. The materials can be printed in as many as 10 colors to maximize shelf appeal. Solventless lamination options address sustainability initiatives because they reduce energy consumption by 86% compared with solvent-based laminating processes. Structures compatible with high-speed equipment also are available (Flexi-Free CR barrier overwrap film, Ampac Flexibles, a division of Ampac Packaging).

Another way to impart CR protection is to put a non-CR blister into a CR wallet. Many wallet designs also serve as compliance packages, starter kits, or titration regimens.

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