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Hacks :: Kid-Proof Drug Bags

by , May 14, 2013

 Piping as an anchor

Keeping your kids safe from your pharmaceuticals

I can’t find a proper kid-proof drug bag, so I’ve hacked one.

Why would I care about a kid-proof drug bag? It turns out that kids get smashed by accidental poisoning from household medicines pretty regularly (yeah, nice and light reading eh…)

One or two pocket options

While we’ve installed all sorts of child-proof locks on our cupboards, both my wife and I leave pharma within much easier reach in our bags. Mostly just pain-killers (which can be lethal in large doses), but also some anti-inflammatories, anti-this’s and anti-that’s.

So I guess this is a post to warn other parents they may have an issue, and then to encourage sharing of any good solutions you guys may already have worked out. If any brands want to jam with us on a better solution, please reach out.

Nested in my EDC

The requirements

Any bag I run with as my daily carry gets a pocket assigned to toiletries (including pharmaceuticals). I figured if I could find a small child-proof pouch to tuck inside these pockets, I should have a pretty easy solution. I can imagine a smaller pouch again for my wife’s handbag.

The Ingredients

The hack

I’ve started with a really light Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Quick Trip, which has a good strong piping running past the side pockets. I’ve then just pricked a small hole beside it, and now I have an anchor for the lock.

While I started with locks on 2 pockets, I’ve since moved to only one pocket being locked. I don’t need to lock the whole thing up, as toothbrushes and anti-perspirant are relatively harmless. So it’s now one side pocket which gets anything slightly dangerous (or candy-looking).

The loaded kit

I’m on the scope for a small combo-lock, as I don’t want to stress about keys with this. I’ll swap the lock over as soon as I find a good one. And for sure it would be nice to have a sweet integrated travel lock system, but this is totally sufficient for now.

And as mentioned, I’ll also develop a smaller pouch for my wife’s handbag needs. It won’t need all the toiletry action, so it will only be large enough for some painkillers.

And that’s about it. If you have the right kit, it should only take 60 seconds to set up, but it might just save your kid. I figure that’s probably worth the time spent.

  • The Potato Man

    I’d definitely change to lock to a combination instead of a key lock. Less keys to worry about.

    • Ando

      Yep, it’s coming…

  • Jason D

    This is really important and happened to a friend just last month. He and his wife were on vacation and their son was on the bed watching TV while they were getting ready in the bathroom. They came out to find that he had gotten into most of their prescription meds.

    Thankfully, he did not digest any of the powerful meds and since they packed only the dosages required for the length of the trip, they could make sure all of the pills were accounted for. They still took a precautionary trip to the ER.

    This is an excellent idea for those with small children and a potential life saver.

    I’m happy to see that these things are addressed here. I’ve not seen them featured on any other site.

    Great job!

    • Ando

      Thanks Jason, and yep, it’s easy for that stuff to take a turn south crazy fast.
      Super glad your friends kid was OK. It could be such a heavy situation.

  • Yan

    I’m wondering whether you could still open the padlocked compartment by moving the lines of zip teeth right to left (referring to the top photo), instead of the zip slider left to right? It would distort the shape of the bag (the bag is pretty flexible, right?) , but would still would create an opening plenty wide enough to access what is in there.

    • Ando

      It keeps things tight enough that you can’t really get anything out. I made sure I fiddled lots 🙂
      Mind you, if your kids know the ‘pen through the zip coils’ trick, they’ll get in. But so far the young ones haven’t learned that.

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  • Si

    I think the simple option is probably the best, you’re just trying to stop a small cold from getting into something by accident. The other scenario of stopping someone intentionally getting at your meds is a whole new ballgame which will go beyond just stopping them poking a hole in the zip.


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