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Open Blister Packs

Electronics retail display

©Scott Olson/Getty Images

You won't be surprised to learn that you're not the only one who can't open those plastic packages that electronics, toys and so many other things seem to be encased in these days. That hard plastic packaging, also known as clamshell, oyster or blister packs, was introduced to deter shoplifting, but as a consequence of its tamper-proof features, it's also known to cause injuries when consumers try to open their purchases. In fact, according to estimates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, every year more than 6,000 Americans are treated in emergency rooms for injuries incurred from their attempts to open plastic packaging -- usually lacerations or puncture wounds (and imagine how many more of us just reached for a band-aid) [source: Elliott]. The secret to blister-pack success? Put down the scissors and the knife and give your can opener a go instead. Not only is it similar to some of the special tools on the market designed to do open these packages, it actually works. And you probably have at least one in your kitchen right now.

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