That child-resistant packaging on your prescription bottle may seem like a nuisance, but it actually has a secret, time-saving feature.
Unless you’ve been blessed with a superhuman grip, odds are you’ve found yourself struggling to get the cap off a prescription bottle at least once. The good news? That tricky bottle cap actually has a cool secret feature built right, and it may even save you time—and stress—in the long run.
Modern prescription bottle caps generally have one or two raised sections above a ribbed base. While the raised sections of the cap can make it harder to remove, they’re also where the magic lies. When you’ve removed the cap, simply flip it upside down and screw it back in, so that the raised sections are pointed toward the bottom of the bottle. That child-resistant cap can now be removed with virtually no effort. This feature makes for an easy alternative to child-resistant caps for anyone without little ones to worry about at home. This is particularly useful for those suffering with arthritis or other conditions that limit their fine motor skills. The inverted cap also provides the perfect place for you to lay out your next pill.
While prescription bottle caps can be a pain for even adults to remove, they do serve an important purpose. Research published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals suggests that child-resistant packaging has saved countless lives. Between 1973, the year after the Poison Prevention Packaging Act was introduced, and 1990, pediatric aspirin poisoning deaths dropped 34 percent. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that child-resistant packaging accounts for a significant drop in total childhood poisonings the last half-century, too. There were 216 reported pediatric poisoning deaths in America in 1972. That number dropped to just 34 by 2008, a decrease of 84 percent. So, while it may take you a few more seconds to open your prescription, the wait is well worth it.