It wasn’t always so difficult to pop open a prescription bottle or a bottle of bleach. A new package design forcing users to push and turn was introduced right around the time the U.S. Congress passed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, requiring child-resistant packaging for prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, household chemicals and other hazardous materials.
Over the next two decades, 900 fewer children died from accidentally ingesting prescription drugs or aspirin than before tamper-resistant caps were introduced. Nothing is entirely tamper-proof, public health experts warn, and accidental poisonings do remain a problem. A 2015 report found there are more than 1,100 emergency calls every day about a young child consuming too much medicine. Experts are now considering a new generation of safety designs, such as single-dose packaging.