Updated August 23rd, 2018
Some products can put your child at risk of choking, burns and poisoning. While cribs and car seats must meet safety standards, most products are not regulated. As a parent, you need to decide if a toy or product could put your child at risk for injury.
Infants and toddlers are at risk because they love to put things in their mouths. When choosing toys for your child, follow the age recommendations printed on the package. If older children live in the home, be cautious as their toys may contain small parts that are a choking hazard for young children.
Some common products that can cause injury
Some children’s toys and other products contain small powerful magnets. Swallowing two or more magnets can cause serious damage to the inside of a child’s body.
- Check your child’s toys for small magnets. Keep these toys away from young children.
- Take your child to the emergency department if you think that he has swallowed magnets.
Small batteries are found in toys, greeting cards, hearing aids and some household products. Small batteries can cause burns if your child swallows them or puts them in her ear or nose.
Be sure to:
- Store extra batteries out of sight and reach of young children
- Throw out old batteries right away
- Choose toys that have a battery compartment that closes with a screw
- If your child swallows or inserts a battery, take them to the doctor right away
Laundry and dishwasher pods
Both of these products contain strong cleaning chemicals. Pods can be poisonous if swallowed. If they leak, the liquid can burn your child’s skin or eyes. These pods are often brightly colored and squishy and children can mistake them for candy. To keep your child safer:
- Choose other types of detergents such as powder or liquid
- As with all cleaning products, store in a locked cabinet or drawer that is out of reach of children.
- If your child swallows a whole or partial pod, call the Manitoba Poison Control Centre at 1-855-776- 4766 right away.
Vape juice and e-cigarettes
Vape juice is the liquid that people put into electronic cigarettes. It comes in flavors such as chocolate, peppermint and fruit, which may appeal to your child. Vape juice may contain nicotine and other chemicals. It will cause harm, and can even be deadly if your child swallows it. Like cigarette smoke, vapour from e-cigarettes is unsafe for children.
- Avoid using e-cigarettes indoors or around children.
- Keep vape juice and e-cigarettes locked up and out of children’s reach
These products have caused many severe injuries and deaths to babies. Injuries happen when children in walkers fall down stairs or reach electrical cords and other items that are normally out of reach. Walkers do not help children learn to walk. Baby walkers are banned in Canada. It is illegal to import them or sell them at garage sales.
- If you have a baby walker, do not use it. Use a stationery exercise activity centre instead.
- Remove the wheels from a wheeled walker before throwing it away so that it can’t be used by anyone else.
Amber teething necklaces
These necklaces claim to provide “natural” pain relief that helps soothe baby’s teething pain. There is no proof that they do this. Amber necklaces and other necklaces put babies at risk of strangulation and choking.
- It is safest to avoid putting any jewellery on your baby
- Use teething rings or massage baby’s gums to help relieve teething pain
Window covering cords
Cords from blinds and other window coverings put babies and young children at risk of strangulation. Health Canada has introduced new regulations that restrict the length of cords and the size of the loops to protect children from this hazard.
To keep your children safe:
- Use cordless window coverings when possible
- Use “break-away” cords or cut the cord so there isn’t a loop
- Keep cords out of reach by using a hook or cleat to fasten them high on the wall
- Follow the window covering manufacturer’s instructions and read all the warnings.
- Keep cribs, beds, playpens and other furniture away from windows
Parent Safety Tips:
- Register your products online and mail in registration or warranty cards. That way the company can contact you if there is a safety problem or if the product is recalled.
- You can make a report to Health Canada
- If you have concerns about a product’s safety
- or if you have had an injury or near miss