In an effort to save thousands of children from chemical injuries, a group of medical researchers and engineers have teamed up to design what they hope will be a truly child-proof spray bottle.
In addition to the typical forward-facing trigger, their new spraying mechanism features a secret trigger that juts out from the back of the nozzle. Both triggers must be pressed in order for the liquid to dispense, and a child’s hands are too small to manage them simultaneously.
It’s not the first attempt to enhance the safety of the common household spray bottle, but it is the first solution that may actually fulfill its function. Other spray bottles have been designed with a switch that restricts the flow of liquid, but children have proven their ability to manipulate these types of nozzles leading to harmful results.
This new spray bottle design may actually live up to its child-proof description and has the potential to save up to 6,000 children from spray bottle injuries each year. A study of child injuries caused by household cleaners revealed that these types of injuries have decreased significantly over the last 20 years, but the number of spray bottle-related injuries, specifically, has remained constant. Spray bottle injuries have actually accounted for 40 per cent of all the child household cleaner injuries between 1990 and 2006.
The study was conducted by Lara McKenzie and her colleagues at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio and was released in 2010. In addition to the results of the study, McKenzie discovered that their research revealed a need in the consumer market for a spray bottle that was both easy for adults to use and difficult for children to employ.
McKenzie and her colleagues joined forces with researchers in the Ohio State University’s department of design and engineering to create this innovative spray bottle. The group has filed for a patent and is currently looking for a company, such as a cleaning product manufacturer, to license their product.
Judging by the valuable medical research that reveals a market need while simultaneously giving credit to this new spray bottle design, it seems likely that these researchers won’t have much trouble finding a licensor. And while securing a license may turn out to be a rewarding achievement for these professionals, hopefully the children whom their product aims to save will be the ones who benefit the most.