Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Effective Childproof Bottle for the 21st Century

Kids nowadays are too smart for their own good, and it means that us moms have to always be on our toes. What happened last night at my house really got me thinking about this. Keep in mind The Girl is 10 and The Ginger is 7 1/2.

The Girl asked if she could have one of their gummy vitamins. I told her yes, and to hand me the childproof bottle so I could open it.

The Girl: Let me try it, Mom. Please?

I thought about it for a second, remembered how much she struggled with a childproof cap about a month ago, and told her to go for it. It was a gummy vitamin, not a bottle of acid. She struggled and struggled, and then The Ginger spoke up:

The Ginger: Let me have it, I know how to open it.
My Sister (outraged): Um, you shouldn't know how to open it, it's a childproof bottle.
(The Girl is consumed with struggling to get this bottle open, and isn't paying attention.)
The Ginger: But I know how to get it open. Sissy, let me have it, please.
My Sister: Don't try and open the bottle. It's childproofed.
(I'm sitting back, with a smile on my face, watching all of this.)
The Ginger: Sissy, push down on the cap, then turn it.
(The Girl pushes down on the top, turns it, and the bottle of gummy bear vitamins magically opens. My sister is appalled.)
The Girl (beaming): Ha! You said I couldn't do it. Thanks, Ginger.
The Ginger: No problem. (looking at my sister) I told you I knew how to get it open.
My Sister: But it's childproofed!! He should not be able to get that open!

My reply?

Me: He knows how to beat 87 levels of Legend of Zelda... I think he's fully capable of figuring out a childproof bottle cap.

What? It's the damn truth. Do I worry that my kids now know how to open a childproof bottle cap? Nope. They have been taught what they aren't allowed to touch and that I'm the only one who can give them
medicine of any kind. They know that bleach and drano can hurt them, even if they touch it (and those are kept out of their reach), so I know they aren't going to drink them. And we currently don't even have any prescription meds in the house, which are the ones you really need to worry about.

My brain did wander, however, to how bottles need to be childproofed nowadays. These kids can figure almost anything out, especially since most video games contain puzzles and dialogue that they need to read, with directions they need to follow. If they can read that they need to go to the Island of Zandor, climb the 3rd mountain to the right up to the cave, decipher the hieroglyphs carved in the stone beside the door to find the secret code that opens the door, then walk through a maze of patterned stepping stones, carefully choosing ones that won't have them fall into the lava, all in 3 minutes in order to retrieve the ruby gem, they can read 'Push down and turn' on a pill bottle cap and do what it says.

So, I have done a prototype for how I think childproof bottles of the 21st century should look. Yes, major pharmaceutical corporations, I'm available for conferences and negotiations on buying my design for mass marketing.

Complete with a rudimentary (in this day and age) number locking system on the cap, and more modern pattern drawing lock and thumbprint scanner on the actual bottle. You will have to remember to wipe off the bottle when you are done with it, because the tech savvy kids of today will see the smudges on the pattern lock and pick up your thumbprint with tape to reuse it.

This is what the world is probably coming to, all jokes aside. Too many prescription drugs are being sold on the streets, and too many accidental (and purposeful) overdoses are happening. With technology the way it is, I'm sure there is something that can be done about it all.

Like adding pattern locking and thumbprint scanners to the side of prescription bottles. That couldn't be too expensive, right? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

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  1. Not even going to touch childproofing. My children have been able to open childproof bottles since they were toddlers. The middle one to figured it out at 2 1/2. He managed to open a box, take off the plastic wrapper, open a childproof bottle, and down half a bottle of Benedryl before I realized he had the box. When I called poison control, they said, "Don't let him go to sleep." Right... This kid doesn't get sleepy from Benedryl. He was still racing around the house at 12 that night.

    What I want to talk about is selling prescription drugs. When my doctor prescribed me anti-depressants, determined that the reason for all my medical problems was depression (turns out to be gluten), I had a bad reaction to them. He tried another, and another, until I told him to give it up. I wasn't depressed. But, then I had all those anti-depressants. And, we had all this ADHD medicine that my boy doesn't use because it does very bad things to him. What to do with it?

    Sell it. My boy was in our local middle school. It is a place where drugs are rampant. I figure we could have made enough by selling that medication to send him to a private school the next year. Too bad I couldn't do it.

    1. Good gracious, you had me scared for a second there, lol. I thought you were going to say you did sell it at a middle school. I was prepared with, 'Kristina, here's ANOTHER thing we don't agree on' and probably get up on my soap box, lol.

      My kids are the racing around the house on Benadryl kids. My daughter, when she was about 4, got the bottle open on some children's Advil and took a few swigs when the babysitter was there one night. Poison control said if it had been children's Tylenol, we would have had problems.

  2. I have always been bemused by this very thing.

    I used to take Lorazepam, which, if you know about it, is one of those drugs they're super paranoid about prescribing. Every time I needed a new prescription I had to go through seven levels of questioning to make sure I a) wasn't an addict, b) wasn't a drug dealer and c) wasn't suicidal.

    When I finally did finish with 20 questions I'd get my prescription for 30 pills and go pay $11 for it. Street value is about $50 PER PILL.

    And they wonder why the war on drugs isn't 'winning'.