Following demographics, many pharmaceutical companies are making so-called “EZ Open” pill bottles designed for adults with arthritis in their hands. The problem is that some of the bottles can also be readily opened by children. The danger of a medication overdose to a child is made greater because many pills are colorful and sugar-coated, making them attractive to a child. Recently, a 3-year-old child was hospitalized when she opened an “EZ Open” bottle of Tylenol and ate 15 tablets. The child was on a ventilator for a week and fortunately made a complete recovery. Obviously, had the 15 tablets been of more potent medicine, the little girl could easily have died. If “EZ Open” bottles can be opened by children as well as adults with flexibility problems, clear and large warnings should appear on the bottles and packaging. After all, many of the older people targeted by the drug companies, will have grandchildren. A better solution would be the design of bottles easier to open by adults, but still very hard to open by children.
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