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Who Invented Child Safety Caps for Medicine Bottles?

If you've ever struggled to open a child safety cap on a bottle of drugs, you have Dr. Jay Arena to thank for your frustration.

Arena, a pediatrician and poison-control doctor in North Carolina, developed the child safety cap along with drug manufacturer Plough in the 1950s. When companies like Plough, makers of St. Joseph's Aspirin, introduced flavored aspirin for kids to the market, Arena noticed a dramatic increase in poisonings.

He called the company and began working with them to make a child resistant top. By the end of the 1950s, they had produced a workable solution and published results of their efforts in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

After seven people were killed in 1982 by cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules, manufacturers introduced tamper-resistant over-the-counter packaging. Congress made tampering with a packaged consumer product illegal in 1983.

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About the Author

Sean Kelley

Sean Kelley is an award-winning journalist and blogger. His work has appeared on CNN.com, in Health magazine, and in numerous online and print publications.

He lives on a farm in Alabama where he raises tomatoes and honey bees.