|Postcode / City||6101 XJ ECHT|
Locked4Kids is the world’s first child resistant reclosable carton box.
It's extremely difficult, but at the same time fascinating to create something that is so simple, inexpensive and easy to produce and at the same time easy to use for everyone… except of course for little children.
In Europe approximately 80% of all tablets and capsules entering the market are first packed in a blister strip and then in a retail carton. In the US it is the other way around. Until today, approximately 80% of all medicines are packed in bottles. This is however changing rapidly, because also in America the trend toward the increasing use of blisters is a fact, which is for a very good reason:
A blister warrants the integrity of tablets and capsules much better than a bottle. Production batch numbers and expiry date are stamped or printed on each blister, a blister protects the individual dose against moisture and contamination and - unlike a bottle - a blister shows clearly if a product has been tampered with.
It’s a proven fact that cartons are not only the best, but also the most economical solution to package blisters with tablets and capsules, but - until now - the only option to package blisters in a child resistant way, is by using all kinds of specialty packaging available in the market.
For that reason Ecobliss has started the development of Locked4Kids cartons in 2013.
Since the start of the development many pre-tests have been executed, and at first it was a struggle to get positive results. It is really hard to beat the mind and physical capabilities of so many different young children with something as simple as a carton...
But with every negative test, Ecobliss did got a lot of feedback, on the behavior of both children as well as adults and seniors, and this learning curve was used over and over to improve the original design.
US16 CFR 1700.20 and ISO 8317 provide a measure of the effectiveness of packagings in restricting access by children. Besides this they cover the accessibility by adults. The basis is extensive testing with children in the age of 42-51 months as well as adults between 50 and 70 years old. Official testing can only be done by testing facilities which hold an ISO 17025 certification. Locked4Kids has been tested according to these standards. With amazing results.
Mid 2014 Ecobliss managed to get certification on three different sizes of cartons and with that they got a range certificate, meaning that all cartons between the smallest and largest tested carton could be mass produced, without the need for re-certification.
From that point onwards, they decided to introduce the world’s first true child resistant carton Locked4Kids to the market.
The industry received the packaging very well, and in no time Locked4Kids got recognition by winning very ambitious awards, such as the CPHI pharma award, Silver in the Dutch Gouden Noot, and the WPO WordStar president’s award.
All great successes… but from a user’s point of view, Ecobliss was still not 100% satisfied with their Locked4Kids carton. The majority of senior people has no problems opening the carton, and looking purely at the test results, both child resistance and senior friendliness tests all fall well within the US and international standards. Nevertheless, a small percentage of people struggled really hard to open the carton.
The packaging design team did not feel comfortable with that and a new goal was set: the development of Locked4Kids 2.0!
The target was to make the carton easy to open by everyone, except of course by young children ! Professionals that deal with child resistant packaging know very well, that finding the thin line between true senior friendliness, and at the same passing the testing protocols with young children, is the one of toughest packaging design job anyone can imagine….
How does it work ?
The carton has 2 small openings which are located on the side walls, diagonally across, at a distance that is hard to cover by little children’s fingers, but easy for adults.
A plastic tray slides into the carton and 2 hooks in the shape of fishing hooks lock the tray every time when its fully inserted. By pressing the hooks simultaneously, the tray unlocks and can be pulled out.
The cardboard is laminated with a strength film to provide tear resistance to the carton.
The front wall of the tray is curved, to withstand the strong pulling force of little children’s fingers. On top of that, the tray has a downward angle, which gives the user a good grip for pulling it out when the tray is fully inserted in the carton. All components - tray, carton and blisters - have been designed in such a way that the parts stay connected when the packaging is opened by the consumer.
In Locked4Kids 2.0, ease of opening for seniors and at the same time keeping child safety was the primary goal. This was achieved by modifying the shape of the hooks and the holes they fit in, along with some smaller modifications. By doing so, it is no longer necessary to first pulling the tray, and then pushing the hooks. In version 2.0 this sequence also works in reverse order, which makes it much easier for seniors to open the carton. In fact, the testing on seniors with the new Locked4Kids 2.0 showed a 100% positive result, and at the same time the test results on children remained as excellent as they were before !
Locked4Kids is now being marketed worldwide, and is expected to soon become the world’s no. 1 packaging solution in child resistant cartons.