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Packaging gets too difficult to open

Hints from Heloise

Dear Heloise: As we baby boomers become senior citizens, we find ourselves increasingly struggling with packaging of all kinds. I routinely have to get out my X-Acto knife to open products encased in impenetrable, heavy plastic backed by stiff cardboard.

Push-and-turn and squeeze-and-turn caps on everything, from over-the-counter medicines to toilet cleaner, have become very challenging to remove. And the stiff plastic seals around some of these caps have broken many a thumbnail.

Sharp scissors are a must, and yes, I have stabbed my hand on occasion while using them. I once had to take a hammer to smash the cap of a bottle of eye drops. Fortunately, I still had an old bottle and was able to use its lid. (Also, speaking of eye drops, the round bottles are much harder to squeeze drops out of than oblong bottles.)

I understand the safety precautions involved with today’s packaging, but I think we may have gone overboard. A plastic seal around a push-and-turn cap, plus a thick seal on the inside that requires a knife to penetrate it, is a bit much. I can’t be the only senior (at least I hope I’m not the only senior) with reduced hand strength because of arthritis, who spends way too much time just trying to get into and use the things I buy. I am so grateful that I can at least request non-senior-proof caps on my prescriptions.

I have loved and learned so much from reading “Hints from Heloise” over the many years in the Mansfield News Journal. — Judy Nichols, Mansfield, Ohio

TOOTHPASTE

AND DOGS

Dear Heloise: A recent column listed some ideas of things to clean with toothpaste. I just found that my toothpaste contains xylitol, which can be fatal to dogs if they ingest even a trace of it. If a dog ingests a used piece of chewing gum that contains xylitol, it can suffer from severe seizures and sudden death.

As I was reading your hint, I thought of all the places my dog might find it interesting to lick if she realized that I had used toothpaste to clean the wall or anywhere else in her environment. Please put this information out. It could save someone’s pet. — Patty Ehrle, via email

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

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