The average household contains at least a few spray bottles filled with liquids that ... well, that children shouldn’t be playing with. While most bottles now incorporate nozzles that can be “turned off,” many people don’t bother doing so, plus kids can just turn those nozzles back on themselves. The situation has led to the design of a new type of child-resistant spray bottle that has two triggers.

The prototype bottle was created by researchers at Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital, working with colleagues from Ohio State University.

“The two-stage trigger mechanism design restricts the ability of young children to trigger spray bottles because they lack the development capability to perform the correct operational sequence and because their hand size and strength are not sufficient to activate the mechanism,” said Ohio State’s Prof. Blaine Lilly. “The spray mechanism is designed to be extremely challenging for young children to operate, yet will allow adults comfortable use.”

Both triggers need to be sequentially engaged, in order to enable the spray mechanism. That mechanism returns to a locked state after each use, which the team claims sets it apart from other systems – according to a study conducted by the hospital that included 25 families with young children, 75 percent of the spray bottles in those families’ homes were left with the nozzles not turned off.

The team is now seeking commercial partners to develop the technology. The prototype can be seen in use in the video below.