Most poisonings involve children under six years of age.
The federal Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970 requires child-resistant safety packaging for various toxic household products in order to inhibit a child’s ability to access poisonous substances. This effort, in conjunction with the formation of poison control centers, education efforts, availability of ipecac syrup for home treatment and labeling requirements, has significantly reduced the number of poisonings. However, most poisonings occur while the product is in use, rather than when stored, and many toxic household products are exempt from the child-resistant safety packaging laws.
The National Safety Council, the American Medical Association and the American Association of Poison Control Centers have noted that the addition of nontoxic aversive agents to toxic household products may make these products so unpalatable that many children reject the products upon, or shortly after, tasting them. These organizations have urged manufacturers of toxic household products to add nontoxic aversive agents to their products in addition to child resistant closures in order that ingestion of these products may be reduced, thus providing another means to prevent or mitigate severe poisonings.
Aversive agents are currently being used in various household products to mitigate child poisonings. [Formerly 431.875]