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Campaigner for child proof packaging passes away

Campaigner for child proof packaging passes away

TRIBUTES have been paid to Dr. Hugh Jackson who was a leading campaigner for the introduction of child-proof packaging for medicines which have helped save thousands of lives. He was 95.

Dr. Jackson had been working as a paediatrician in Gateshead in the 1960s when he became aware of the extent of injuries and deaths involving children. He found that a high number of children had suffered poisoning as the result of swallowing household products or medicines which were stored in easily-opened containers. 

After studying the circumstances surrounding 300 such cases, Dr. Jackson published his findings in the British Medical Journal and began his efforts to encourage the government to take action.

His tireless efforts, through work on expert panels and committees, was instrumental in bringing about the introduction, in the mid-1970s, of child-resistant packaging. It soon became clear the use of such packaging was having a beneficial effect — within months it was established that there had been a major reduction in the number of children being admitted to hospital suffering from such things as aspirin poisoning.

But Dr. Jackson was not only concerned about children being poisoned, he also campaigned for greater awareness in the way buildings and products were designed so that they would be less likely to cause injury.

In 1976, along with Professor Donald Court, he formed the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT), which continues to work to reduce the number of children and young people who are killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. Princess Diana had been a patron of the organisation.

In recognition of his work, Dr. Jackson was appointed O.B.E. and was also awarded the James Spence Medal by the the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2000.

He is survived by two sons. His wife and another son both predeceased him.

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