It all began sometime in the 1970s or thereabouts. A detergent manufacturer had the idea of providing his products with a closure that couldn’t easily be opened by children. The reason behind this was that his cleaning agents often smelled so delicious and were so colorful that especially small children were tempted to take a big mouthful. And that could and can still have disastrous results. Anything is conceivable, from nausea and chemical burns to serious health consequences. At any rate, a handful of developers got together and started thinking about how best to design childproof closures to ensure that they couldn’t be opened by a child of about three or four years of age. On the other hand, though, an adult was to be able to manage this without any problem and as intuitively as possible. After all, the packaging was not supposed to stop anyone from using the contents nor of course from buying the product. This marked the birth of closures that are commonly referred to as “childproof closures”.
Childproof closures are not necessarily choke-proof
Over the years – caps and closures had become increasingly intricate with a great deal of attention to detail – it happened again and again that whole closures or parts of them were swallowed or even inhaled (or in medical terms “aspirated”) by toddlers. At worst, this could cause suffocation. Here again, the packaging industry was required to develop childproof closures that made it impossible for them or their parts to get into the respiratory tracts. Especially in the pouch closure segment, the so-called weldspouts were and still are relatively small and light to match the overall packaging unit. In its main fields of application in the cosmetic and detergent industries, the spout size has not played a predominant role to date. But in recent years, the pouch and its merits have been discovered and implemented increasingly in the food industry as well. Fruit purees, yoghurt drinks and baby food, for instance, are very popular among children as a quick snack or between meals. In particular small children up to around 3 years of age explore the world not only with their hands, eyes and ears, but frequently with their mouths and tongues as well. That’s why a child sticks anything interesting or exciting into his or her mouth straight away - unfortunately including objects and things that have no business there. As a result, there have been cases in the past when the closures – or their components - landed in the child’s mouth and were swallowed. And no-one really wants to even contemplate the serious consequences of such accidents.
Rotatable in all directions – simple, even for small children and the elderly
But how can the little ones be protected against such terrible things happening during their explorations? The product developers at MENSHEN investigated this issue very thoroughly. Some time ago they came up with several versions of a pouch closure which cannot be swallowed because it has a diameter of around three centimeters, about double the size of a customary closure for this type of packaging. And even if the very improbable case of swallowing the closure did happen, its open structure is designed so as to allow the person to continue breathing. In addition, it is virtually impossible for a child to loosen or twist off any parts of the closure without some sort of device such as a knife or nippers. So, our ChokeSafeCap – that’s our name for this closure at MENSHEN – really is pretty well thought out. Thanks to its large diameter, it is easy to handle, enabling simple and convenient opening and closing - not only for the kiddies, but for the senior citizens among us, too. Thumbs up for this super closure!