Child-Resistant Lock for Spray Bottles

A child-resistant trigger lock for spray bottles that automatically reengages after use.

The Need

According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, 267,269 children (≤ 5 years of age) were treated in US emergency rooms for household cleaning product-related injuries between 1990-2006.1 Spray bottles, which accounted for 40.1% of these cases, were the most likely products to cause injury.1 Most spray bottles for household hazardous chemicals incorporate child-resistant locks, such as a rotating locks. However, these child-resistant locks are useless when disengaged or improperly used, which can expose a child to chemical related injuries. To mitigate injury risk due to household chemicals, a child-resistant locking mechanism that automatically reengages after use and is easy to use for adults must be developed for spray bottles.

  1. Pediatrics Volume 126 / Issue 3, Household Cleaning Product-Related Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments in 1990–2006, September 2010.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Carolina Gill, have developed a novel locking mechanism for spray bottles to ensure the safety of children and reduce the prevalence of accidental poisonings and injuries from household chemicals. Rather than relying on the twisting of the tip of the sprayer to provide the locking capability, this child-resistant sprayer utilizes an additional lever that prohibits the use of the trigger until the safety lever is depressed. This design allows for comfortable, easy use for adults but poses difficulty for children whose hands are much smaller. The incorporation of the spring-assisted safety lever also allows for the sprayer to automatically reengage the locking mechanism at the end of each use.

Commercial Applications

  • Household and industrial chemical producers
  • Spray bottle producers


  • Cognitively and ergonomically difficult for a child to use
  • Maintains comfortable one-hand usage for adults
  • Safety lever reengages after use maintaining safety at all times

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