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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Keep a Lid on It! Child-Resistant Safety Closures Are Not Childproof


safety closure

Medications are often packaged in a container that requires some coordination to open, for example, by pushing down and turning a cap. These child-resistant safety closures are designed to keep children safe by making it harder to access the medications inside. recently received two similar reports describing young children who accessed medications after opening containers by themselves. One bottle had a child-resistant safety cap, but the cap was not properly secured. In the other case, the bottle containing a liquid medication did not have a safety cap. In both cases, the child consumed some of the medication, and a parent or caregiver sought advice from a poison centre. Thankfully, no serious harm occurred. shares these safety tips to help prevent poisonings in children:

  • When purchasing medication, choose products with child-resistant closures, if possible.
  • Take the time to carefully replace the child-resistant closure after every use.
  • Remember that child-resistant does not mean childproof. Keep all medication products out of reach and out of sight, even if children are in your home only occasionally.
  • Share your experiences by sending a report to—it can make a difference. For example, because of the report involving the product without a child-resistant cap, described above, the product's manufacturer is now working on a safer container design.

For more information about how to keep children safe from poisonings, read:

Medications Can Look Like Candy

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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