Medicine Bottles Are Not Toys - Not For Child's Play

Medicine Bottle ToyThe Situation

All parents have been there. You have a crying baby in your arms and are desperately seeking an effective form of entertainment. Either there are no toys nearby or the ones you have just aren't doing the trick. You're scavenging through your drawers like Mrs. Doubtfire in search of a face.

"Aha!" you say as you lift the perfect little toy. Its a colorful cylinder that fits neatly into little hands and emits an irresistible rattle-noise! Best of all, you don't care to hand it over because it's been over a year since your dentist prescribed this medication to you.

"Wait a second," you think to yourself, "meds?" this seems a bit concerning. But as you glance down at the cap with the big bold "CHILD PROOF" lettering, you reason with yourself, "what can go wrong? Science is protecting me."

The Verdict

Wrong. At the risk of sounding strident, we want to say this is not a good idea. The momentary gain is not even close to equal the dangerous risks of overdose one runs when handing real medication over to a child. Poison Control is unequivocal on this danger. 

Even the comforting "Child Proof" cap is not all-preventing. According to the Illinois Poison Center: "What is critically important to remember, though, is that these caps are child-resistant, not child-proof." They go on to quote the Poison Prevention Packaging Act where it says “packaging that is designed to be significantly difficult for children under 5 years of age to open…within a reasonable time…it does not mean all children will not be able to open within a reasonable amount of time.” As the Center goes on to explain: "In other words, the caps can slow kids down, but will not completely prevent children from opening the bottle. After all, the caps need to be opened by adults within a reasonable amount of time."

On Freedom

Now, for us and parents like us, there's a strong urge to allow and encourage our children to explore freely and experiment with new things. We are trying hard not to become the stereotypical parents from the 60's sitcoms that are constantly imposing expansive rules or yelling "Don't Play With That!" (hence our domain name and motto). 

So, when our babies reach for things they shouldn't be reaching for, there are two dueling principles in mind. One principle demands from us to build a guardrail around anything that puts our children in danger. The other principle , however, reminds us not to stifle our children's creativity and not to create any unnecessary taboos. 

For example: kitchen knives and ovens and, yes, medicine bottles are not intrinsically bad. To the contrary, they are symbols of productivity and miracles of modern times. There's no reason to exclude these from a child's hands-on education. But they do carry a very real, practical danger to a child who does not know how to properly use these items. 

To solve this conundrum, we humbly started this small shop with the goal of preventing actual danger while still providing the fun of adventure. Our product list is still small, but our pretend medicine bottle, Love Is The Best Medicine, was our very first product. Perhaps this was because we saw the problem in our own home and found such an attainable solution. 

The balance of freedom and discipline is one that's difficult to strike, we only hope that our little business contributes a helping hand.

 


 

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