What Does Child Resistant Packaging Mean and Why Use it for Pre Roll Packaging?

12 December, 2022
What Does Child Resistant Packaging Mean and Why Use it for Pre Roll Packaging?

Children are naturally curious and so it is that accidental poisoning is the main cause of ER visits for young children. Cannabis, while useful for adults, is one such substance that can be harmful to children. Child-resistant pre-roll packaging is very important for ensuring that cannabis pre-rolls are used safely only by adults. Child-resistant pre-roll packaging reduces the risk of children accessing and consuming potentially hazardous materials. Though state regulations on cannabis product packaging differ, every responsible pre-roll manufacturer should look to provide child-proof custom pre-roll packaging to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion of cannabis among children. Secure and safe usage of pre-rolls remains the main goal behind child-resistant pre-rolls packaging boxes. Read on to learn all about child-resistant pre-roll packaging.

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What is Child Resistant Packaging?

Child-resistant packaging, commonly called CR packaging, is specially designed to keep children from eating harmful substances like medicines, cleaning products, and cannabis products among others. One of the most common types of child-resistant packaging is a safety cap. The safety cap has to be pressed down and twisted at the same time to open and this requires strength and ability that young children do not have. Child-resistant packaging applies to any packaging that is hard to open for children under five years old.


The Need for Child Resistant Packaging

According to CDC, about 50,000 ER visits for kids under five are due to accidental ingestion and overdose of medicines. Kids can access medicines and other harmful substances if they are not properly stored and more often than not they try to eat a curious looking substance. This situation leads to one child’s death every 12 days.

CR packaging is proven to decrease the number of accidental poisoning related deaths among children. According to WHO CR packaging is the most effective way of preventing accidental poisoning among children. This is why government regulations demand companies manufacturing potentially dangerous substances use child-resistant packaging. Not following these regulations can result in legal action against the business. Also read: What Are Pre-Rolls and How Are Pre-Rolls Made?

A History of Child Resistant Packaging

Dr. Henri J. Breault is credited with creating the first child-resistant packaging in 1967. This Canadian doctor was motivated to create a solution after he witnessed an alarming rate of accidental poisoning among children. During the 60s Canada experienced 100,000 annual poisoning cases with about 100 deaths a year. Breault’s invention led to a 25% drop in cases in Ontario and soon other states adopted the safety cap. His child-locking system became the prototype for modern CR packaging for prescription medication.

Three years after Breault’s invention, the US Congress passed the Poison Prevention Packaging Act (PPPA) of 1970 in response to a huge number of accidental poisoning cases among children from household products. The PPPA required that all potentially harmful household items should have packaging that is hard to open for children under five. The law also required that such packaging be tested to receive a certification for child resistance.  The PPPA gives the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) the authority to regulate child-resistant packaging.

Child Resistant Packaging Requirements & Standards

Not just any packaging that claims to be child-resistant is actually child-resistant. There are certain standards to be met in order to be certified child-resistant according to the law. The certification involves thorough testing to make sure the packaging passes as child-resistant.

The following are some of the accepted certification standards.

ISO 8317: This is the international standard for child-resistant packaging that determines the testing protocols for reclosable packaging.

16 CFR 1700.20: This is a US standard for special packaging for both medicines and non-medicines and determines the testing protocols for re-closable and non-re-closable packaging.

ISO 13127: This is an international packaging standard for child-resistant packaging that involves mechanical test methods for re-closable child-resistant packaging systems.

ASTM D3475: This is another international standard for the classification of child-resistant packages.

The Child Resistant Packaging Test

The testing identifies if a package is near impossible for young children to open. A child-resistant package passes the test if it’s difficult to open for children while still being usable by adults.

Here’s how standardized tests work in accordance with PPPA. A group of children between 42 and 51 months old are given the packages and asked to open them. They get five minutes to do it. After that, an adult demonstrates how to open the package. Then a second round will test their ability to open the package in five minutes. To pass the test the package must be impossible for 85% of the group before the demonstration and 80% of the group after the demonstration. Various groups are tested to achieve a certificate.

In addition to testing on children, the package should also be tested on older adults between the ages of 50 to 70 and the package should be opened by 90% of the group.

Why Use Child Resistant Packaging for Cannabis Products

Cannabis (also known commonly as marijuana, weed, or pot) is a plant containing powerful psychoactive ingredients making it suitable for both medicinal and recreational use. Many patients use it for chronic pain, seizures, and anxiety among other ailments. Pre-rolls are one of the most popular methods of consuming cannabis. More and more brands of pre-rolls have emerged since the legalization of cannabis in many states and this means that children’s exposure to these products has also increased.

While cannabis can produce many desirable effects for adult users, it can cause a number of adverse effects for children. It’s important to understand that the symptoms of smoking cannabis differ from ingesting it. Smoking produces quicker onset of symptoms that do not last very long. Ingestion causes delayed onset with symptoms lasting for hours. Adults will always smoke pre-rolls but if a child gets their hand on a pre-roll they are likely to eat it. This means that cannabis will have more severe effects. Children are also more vulnerable due to their small size and weight.

When children consume cannabis many serious and sometimes life-threatening effects can happen. Common symptoms of cannabis poisoning in children include vomiting, dizziness, imbalance, rapid pulse, confusion, and difficulty in breathing. It can also cause hallucinations in severe cases. Children, especially those under five years of age, exposed to cannabis almost always require hospital admission to recover.

Does Your Pre-Roll Business Need CR Packaging?

Cannabis remains illegal on the federal level but many states have legalized or decriminalized the medicinal and/or recreational use of cannabis. So it’s state governments that make laws on cannabis distribution and packaging. Specific compliance laws vary in different states, however, child-resistant packaging is a standard across the country.

Even if the state does not dictate it, your pre-roll business should look into COPSC-certified child-resistant packaging. With the increased exposure to cannabis products providing certified child-safe packaging for your pre-rolls would mean that your product does not get misused in the wrong hands.

According to the PPPA, every company selling products that can be potentially harmful to children upon ingestion should have certified CR packaging. Without it, you can face legal action on behalf of anyone that’s put in danger due to your product lacking responsible packaging.

Another benefit of using CR packaging is that your pre-rolls remain fresh. It so happens that many child-resistant packaging styles are also airtight. Moreover, your customers will have more confidence in buying your products if they know it is child safe.

The Advantages of CR Pre-roll Packaging

Child-resistant packaging benefits both pre-roll manufacturers and users. The number one benefit of CR packaging is child safety. The main objective of using protective packaging is to save precious lives. Because young children cannot differentiate between products that are safe and products that are unsafe for eating, it is our job as responsible adults and manufacturers to ensure their safety.

While you cannot see how your products will be used once they leave the dispensary, providing CR packaging will mean that the fault will not be yours in case of accidents.

CR packaging will also serve to establish your brand identity as a responsible manufacturer of pre-rolls. The more companies opt for CR packaging for cannabis products, the more it will benefit the cannabis industry. As child safety is one of the concerns of cannabis critics, widespread adoption of CR packaging will address this concern and establish a safer industry.

The Disadvantages CR Pre-roll Packaging

The main disadvantage of CR packaging is the inaccessibility for seniors and those with limb disabilities. These groups find it difficult to open CR packaging due to physical limitations.

While the standard testing also tests the accessibility for older adults many seniors can still have problems with using CR-packaged products. Further innovations in CR packaging are needed to make cannabis products accessible to these groups.

Types of Child-Resistant Packaging for Pre-Rolls

Child-resistant packaging typically involves some kind of locking mechanism that cannot be opened by the small hands of young children. Consider the pill bottle with the safety cap. The safety cap requires you to push and turn it to open which is not easy for children.

There are many different styles of CR packaging when it comes to pre-rolls. The packaging materials are also varied, for example, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal. The choice of packaging style and material depends on the company’s budget and values.

Following are some examples of child-resistant packaging for pre-rolls.

Locking slider boxes

These are made of strong cardboard material. The slider boxes are made of a sliding tray that fits inside a sleeve. The lock mechanism could be flaps on both sides that are pushed with one hand while the tray is pulled out with the other. The slider boxes come with inserts that allow pre-rolls to be placed neatly inside the tray. Locking slider boxes are eco-friendly, reusable, and recyclable.

Child Resistant Mylar Bags

Mylar bags are a convenient style of pre-roll packaging that is suitable for single pre-rolls or multi-packs. Bags can be made child-resistant with a strong child-resistant seal. Maylar bags are made with plastic so they’re not an eco-friendly option.


The safe and responsible use of pre-rolls is a concern for every manufacturer and user. Child-resistant packaging goes a long way in ensuring that children do not accidentally ingest any cannabis. There is no packaging that is fully child-proof because adults should be able to open the pre-roll package for their use. It’s important for pre-roll brands to invest in child-resistant packaging for the benefit of children and the cannabis industry overall. However, it is also important for parents and adults around children to realize that CR packaging should be the last defense. Keeping pre-rolls and other potentially harmful substances must always be kept away from children. Also read: What You Need To Know About Display Boxes for Pre Rolls?

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Do you need help?

Whether you are starting off or want to improve your product packaging

Get in touch with our Packaging Experts for Free Consultation

Custom Packaging Design
Packaging assesment
Cost effective packaging solutions
Sustainable packaging options
Quick and accurate price quotes