Your Complete Guide to Child Resistant Closures

Your Complete Guide to Child Resistant Closures

Child resistant closures are a critically important part of your packaging.

They help keep children safe. They keep you in compliance with government regulations. They help protect your brand.

Learn more about child resistant closures so you can find the right packaging solution for your products.

Child Resistant Closures Regulations

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulate child-resistant packaging. The CPSC administers the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970. You may see references to the official title of these regulations, 16CFR1700.20.

The EPA sets packaging standards under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

The CPSC requires child-resistant packaging for certain household products. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent children under 5 from opening the container of a hazardous substance and accessing the contents. The PPPA was designed to prevent poisonings and deaths.

What Does “Child Resistant” Mean?

The CPSC defines child resistant packaging as packaging that is significantly difficult for children under 5 to open or to get a harmful amount of the contents. It should take more than 10 minutes for a child under 5 to open the package.

Child resistant packaging must be straightforward for normal adults to use.

Child Resistant Closure Testing

The CPSC doesn’t endorse or approve any specific child resistant closures. They provide testing requirements to determine whether a child resistant closure meets the legal standards. When you buy closures from a distributor or manufacturer, you need to verify that child resistant closures comply with CPSC regulations.

The testing protocol includes children and adults. This is to ensure that the packaging is difficult for children to open but not too difficult for senior adults. The PPPA includes the full testing guidelines for both groups.

Remember that using a compliant closure is only the first step. Your filling and bottling procedures must apply the closure correctly to ensure it stays compliant.

Testing for Child Resistance

The testing procedure begins with a panel of 50 children. They have 5 minutes to try to open the closure. If a child doesn’t open the closure in the first 5 minutes, the tester shows the child how to open it. The child then has another 5 minutes to try again.

If no more than 5 children in the first panel open the closure, it passes. If 15 or more children open it, the closure fails. If between 4 and 14 children open it, a second test panel is necessary.

Testing for Senior Adult Accessibility

The adult test panel uses 100 people between the ages of 50 and 70. The CPSC requires senior adults because they’re the most likely group of adults to have difficulty with a child resistant closure.

Each person gets the packaging with its instructions. The person has 5 minutes to open the closure and reclose it properly. If they succeed, they have 1 minute to do it again.

This testing procedure is meant to ensure that the closure is suitable for continued use. For a closure to pass, 90% of adults in the panel must open and properly close the package during both parts of the test.

Products that Need Child Resistant Closures

Several categories of household products need child resistant packaging under the PPPA. These categories include:

  • Chemicals
  • Cosmetic products
  • Mouthwash
  • Drugs
  • Dietary supplements

Specific types of products within each category need child resistant packaging. For example, liquids with 4% or more of methyl alcohol by weight and liquids with more than 5% methacrylic acid on a weight-to-volume basis fall under the regulations.

Mouthwash containing 3 g or more of ethanol needs a child resistant closure. Products containing more than a specified amount of common drugs like aspirin or acetaminophen must meet the requirements. Vitamins or supplements that contain iron at more than the specified weight-to-volume ratios need child resistant packaging.

You can find a complete list in the PPPA regulation. In addition, the CPSC requires child resistant packaging for liquid nicotine containers under the Child Nicotine Poisoning Prevention Act.

Cannabis products can have strict child resistant packaging requirements. The federal government doesn’t regulate this packaging, though, because cannabis is illegal at the federal level. Packaging requirements vary by state.

Types of Child Resistant Closures

A variety of child resistant closures are available. The majority of them combine two basic principles:

  • Require the user to perform multiple actions simultaneously, which is difficult for children
  • Require more force to open than a child could apply

The effectiveness of this combination has led to its popularity.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) created classification standards for different types of child resistant closures. Some of the most popular closures are ASTM Type I, which covers reclosable packaging with continuous thread closure.


The most common type of child resistant closure requires the user to push down the cap while twisting it open at the same time. These push-turn caps work with plastic or glass containers.

Some versions have a tamper-evident seal. You can also find push-turn dome caps with droppers for liquid products.


A variation on the push-turn cap is a squeeze-turn closure. These caps are also quite popular.

The user squeezes two sides of the cap. This creates space between pegs inside the cap and pegs on the outside of the bottleneck. The clearance lets the user twist open the cap.


One example of a child resistant closure that doesn’t require turning the cap is a safe-snap lid. These closures fall under ASTM Type III, which is reclosable packaging with a snap closure. Safe-snap closures work with plastic bottles.

The inside of the closure has a ridge that fits into a groove in the container’s neck. The user first lines up the tab on the lid with the arrow on the container. The user can then push up on the tab to open the lid.

The lid won’t open if the tab and the arrow aren’t aligned.

Choosing the Right Child Resistant Closure for Your Products

Using child resistant closures keeps you in compliance with federal regulations. More importantly, it protects your customers and their families.

FH Packaging has decades of experience helping our clients find the best child resistant closures for their products. Our child resistant closures comply with PPPA regulations.

Our push-and-turn closures are available in lined or unlined versions. We also offer child resistant droppers. Several models have tamper-evident seals.

Contact us today for samples to help you choose your child resistant packaging solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.
This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.