Injuries from consumer products are common and can be serious and sometimes even fatal. Most Canadians believe that if a product is for sale, then it must have been tested for safety, but this isn’t always the case, especially when talking about children’s products. Many consumer products, including those for children, do not meet standards or regulations, causing an increased risk to our children and youth. Parents need to keep in mind their child’s age, cognitive abilities and developmental stage when buying new and used children’s products.
Health Canada gives information about preventing your child from injuries in everyday situations such as using baby slings, baths, playpens and strollers and much more. Health Canada also maintains recall information about children’s products.
Button or disc batteries often come in new watches, cameras, toys, remotes and other items found around the home. If chewed or swallowed, batteries can cause internal chemical burns or poisoning. Ensure batteries are locked inside of toys or placed out of reach where children cannot easily access them.
Toys with small magnets should be kept away from children under 6 years, as they can be dangerous if they become loose and are swallowed. Magnets can attract to one another through the intestines, causing serious illness and injury. Seek medical attention immediately if you know or suspect your child has swallowed a magnet or a battery.
To learn more about button batteries & magnets, please visit the Health Canada website.
Select a gate that is recommended for your child’s age and is appropriate for the area in your home where it will be used. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing a safety gate and ensure a wall-mounted secured gate is used at the top of the stairs and a pressure-mounted gate is used at the bottom of the stairs and in doorways.
To learn more about baby gates & barriers, please visit the Health Canada website.
Remember to always keep your baby’s face both visible and kissable at all times.
To learn more about baby slings & carriers, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Baby walkers are prohibited in Canada and it is an offense to make, sell, advertise or import a new or used baby walker, even for your own use. It is also an offense to give them away.
To learn more about baby walkers, please visit the Health Canada website.
Did you know that cribs made before September 1986 do not meet the current safety regulations in place by Health Canada? There should be no soft items or loose bedding placed in the crib such as stuffed animals, toys, bumper pads, pillows, comforters or duvets. All a crib needs is a fitted sheet over the mattress.
To learn more about cribs, cradles & bassinettes, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Remember to always supervise your baby while playing in a playpen. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for height, weight and age limits on the playpen.
To learn more about playpens, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Every year in Canada, children are injured from improper use of lap belts and harnesses or from not being supervised while in a stroller. Remember to always supervise your child while in a stroller.
To learn more about strollers & carriages, please visit the Government of Canada website.
A baby should always be able to touch the ground with their little toes when not jumping. Remember to always supervise a child while playing in a baby jumper.
To learn more about suspended baby jumpers, please visit the Health Canada website.
In Canada, all toys are regulated to make sure they are safe for use by children, but unsafe toys can still make their way onto store shelves and into our homes. Sometimes the way toys are used can expose children to hazards as well. Being informed and aware of potential risks will help you protect your child’s health and safety. To learn more about toy safety, including safety for magnets, batteries, children’s jewellery, soft vinyl toys and small toy parts. please see some general tips to follow:
- When buying toys, look for sturdy and well-made ones that include the manufacturer’s contact information.
- Read and follow all age labels and safety messages. Toys for older children may have small parts or other hazards that make them unsafe for younger children.
- Keep small toys and any loose parts/accessories out of the reach of children under 3 years of age, as these are choking hazards for children who still put non-food items into their mouths.
- Repair or throw away broken toys. Check often for loose parts, broken pieces or sharp edges that could harm children.
- Keep all toys - especially plush and soft toys - away from heat sources like stoves, fireplaces and heaters.
To learn more about toy safety, please visit the Government of Canada website.
An e-cigarette is a small battery powered device that may look like a real cigarette or a small flashlight, a fountain pen or something similar. There is a clear chamber that holds the e-liquid which is inhaled. The e-liquid can come in a number of different flavours, including fruit or candy flavours and may also contain nicotine. The number of children and teens using e-cigarettes is on the rise, but so too are the number of young children being poisoned by the liquid nicotine.
Liquid nicotine poisoning can by:
- Swallowing the e-liquid
- Inhaling the e-liquid
- Absorption the e-liquid through the skin or eyes
Signs & symptoms of nicotine poisoning:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased heart-rate
- Jittery or shaky
- Difficulty breathing
IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR CHILD HAS LIQUID NICOTINE POISONING, CALL THE POISON CONTROL HOTLINE IMMEDIATELY AT 1-800-268-9017.
To learn more about E-cigarettes, please visit the Caring for Kids website (Canadian Paediatric Society).
Window blind cord safety
Did you know something as simple as a window covering or blind with a cord can cause serious injury or even death to a young child? Children can get tangled up in the cords, putting them at risk of strangulation. Keep your children safe by removing corded window coverings from your windows today!
To learn more about Window Blind Cord Safety, please visit the Government of Canada website.
Check with the manufacturer and Health Canada for any recalls before buying or using a second-hand or used product. Always make sure that the product is in good condition, meets the current safety regulations and that all safety features on the product are present and working correctly. Health Canada does not recommend using baby bath seats or cribs that are older than 10 years due to safety concerns. Baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices, polycarbonate infant feeding products containing BPA, jequirity beans or anything made with jequirity beans and lawn darts with elongated tips are some of the banned children’s product in Canada. If you have any of these items, they should be properly destroyed and discarded so they cannot be used.
To learn more about second-hand products/used products, please visit the Health Canada website.
Buyer beware, vendor take care
Children’s clothing, toys and products are some of the most popular items found at garage and yard sales, however, older items may not be safe, failing to meet current safety regulations under Health Canada’s Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). Under Canadian Law, you cannot sell, import or give away items such as nursery products, children’s furniture or toys that do not meet the safety regulations of the CCPSA. Products such as baby gates, walkers, cribs, cradles, playpens, car and booster seats, strollers, lawn darts, toys and children’s sleepwear are covered under the CCPSA. The Canada Safety Council does not recommend buying used car seats because the car seat could have been in a crash, making it unsafe for your child. On top of this, used seats usually do not come with instructions on how to properly use and install them.
To learn more about garage and yard sales, please visit the Canada Safety Council website.
Product recall information & resources - Health Canada website
Most preventable injuries to young infants and children happen while at home. Every day, more than 60 children are brought to emergency rooms with serious or life-threatening injuries from products found in and around the home. Home injuries can result from a product or toy because children often suck or chew on toy parts, which isn’t what they may be intended for. Injuries also result from the environment itself, such as a fall down the stairs or from a change table (Parachute Canada, 2016).
Product recalls – Government of Canada website
When a product is recalled or an alert is issued, it means that Health Canada has important information to share with Canadians and we can feel more secure when choosing and using products.
Consumer product safety – Health Canada website
Health Canada helps protect Canadians by researching and assessing health risks and safety hazards associated with the many consumer products that Canadians use every day.
Transport Canada – Government of Canada website
When a child safety seat has a defect or doesn’t meet safety standards, Transport Canada issues an advisory notice which tells you if there are problems with your seat and what to do in order to have it fixed.