Children Protection Policy – Should Children Drink Shampoo?
Are you concerned about various companies’ children protection policy? Take a look at the pictures below. Without thinking or reading the label, which one is a smoothie, and which is shampoo?
Photo: In half a second, tell me which is the delicious smoothie? I took both these pictures at a Walmart.
If you are honest with yourself, you had to read the label first.
I am assuming that most people reading this article are adults. But now imagine you are a five-year-old. Which of the photos looks like a delicious smoothie?
Both of them.
With children, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Both grocery stores and shampoo brands have a legal duty to protect people.
These two pictures were taken at a Walmart, perhaps 10 meters from each other.
Child protection services
We live in a world where someone can pour coffee on themselves and sue the company for millions of dollars because the coffee was “too hot.” The company that served the hot coffee might say coffee is not made to be poured on your legs. That’s a fair defence.
But that sort of logic doesn’t work with a five-year-old. The child sees a label that looks natural and delicious. Not only does the shampoo look delicious, but it also smells like a pineapple and coconut smoothie. I’ve never tasted the natural shampoo, but it might taste like coconut.
Photo: The products in question at Walmart, photo taken by Alistair Vigier.
The particular shampoo brand in the above picture has mostly natural ingredients. I have listed some of the ingredients below:
Coco-glucoside, Coco-betaine, Carica Papaya Fruit Extract / Papaya Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera Oil / Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Glyceryl Oleate, Glycol Distearate, Triethyl Citrate, Lecithin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Hydroxypropyl Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Citric Acid, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Salicylic Acid, Parfum Fragrance, and Linaloo.
I’m not a chemist, but some of the ingredients mentioned above don’t sound like something a child should drink, even if they are natural.
On the side of the product, it says “keep away from children” and “do not eat or drink.” Is it expected that a five-year-old child would read this before drinking it?
Photo: The side of the “smoothie” shampoo at a Walmart
Labelling requirements in Canada
There are at least three sets of laws in British Columbia that govern the labelling and protection of children.
The Child, Family and Community Service Act establishes the legislative framework governing child wellbeing and providing child protection. It makes it a requirement of the community to protect children. I am doing my part in writing this article.
The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act prohibits misleading representations. I would suggest that a bottle that looks like something it is not is misleading.
Laws are what politicians create to protect the public. However, there are also courts available to protect the public with court orders for compensation.
It can be assumed that when a child drinks a bottle that looks like a smoothie and suffers health consequences, that there is going to be a lawsuit.
It is unlikely that enough children will drink these products for a class action lawsuit. That means that it will be up to someone with significant capital to push for the change. Lawsuits are expensive.
Children protection policy
The person who starts the action will need to go up against companies like Walmart and Garnier who have a team of attorneys.
However, if the person succeeds, they might be able to get compensation for any family who suffered because their children drank “smoothie shampoos.” The judge might also issue an injunction, which is a court order for a company to stop doing something.
The poison control center says that “when shampoo is swallowed in small quantities, mild nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can occur.”
I would assume that if a child drank a lot of shampoo, that the child might die.
I call on companies to put children’s lives ahead of sales and to find a way to make their labels less dangerous for those that won’t read the safety labels on the bottle.
If politicians won’t act, the courts are always at your disposal to push for change, if you can afford it.
If you are a company, you should hire a lawyer to create a children protection policy.
Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law, a website that connects people with law firms in Canada and China.
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