3. What makes products appeal to children or resemble food?
Some warning labels could make products even more appealing to children.
Credit: Wikimedia commons
There have been no studies to evaluate the effect of different
characteristics of a product that make it resemble food or
appealing to children on the likelihood of accidental poisoning.
However, it is likely that a product that looks, smells and
tastes like food and is attractively packaged, is more likely to
be confused with food and
ingested, particularly by
children, than a product which does not resemble food and is
stored in a plain container.
Solid food and drink comes in many different colours. In the
past, colours like blue or green were only used for products
such as cleaners but now these colours are also used in food
items so it is hard to distinguish between food and non-food
products by their colour alone.
Some cosmetics can be mistaken for food because they are
shaped like real food items, or are packaged in food containers
such as plates, bowls or glasses. Labels that contain food
pictures and fake nutrition tables make cosmetic products and
cleaners look even more like food.
Manufacturers sometimes put names, pictures and writing in the
labels that describe the smell and taste of their products, and
these often imitate food items. Cosmetics that are sold or
stored next to foodstuffs can be confused for food items and
Children can be attracted to anything within their reach but
some products are particularly appealing:
Children like attractively coloured packaging but they do not
have one favourite colour. Instead, their colour preference
depends on the type of product, the choice of colours on offer
and the age of the child. The shape of the container does not
seem to make products any more or less appealing to children but
packaging in vivid colours showing familiar characters from TV
or books, do.
Product labels or warnings have no effect on young children
because they cannot read them. Hazard symbols such as skull and
cross bones may make products even more attractive.
Include chapter on adverse effects (with info from opinion
chapter 6.4), currently this only appears in conclusion!