Global awareness campaign highlights product safety around the world
OTTAWA, June 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Canada is joining governments from around
the world to highlight product safety and related issues during
International Product Safety Week 2014, from June 16 to 20. This year's
theme is button battery safety.
Each year dozens of children in Canada visit emergency rooms after
unintentionally ingesting button-type batteries. These small, coin
shaped batteries that power many common household items and children's
toys contain harmful substances like acids and heavy metals that can
cause serious internal chemical burns or poisoning if ingested.
Although button batteries in toys are usually locked in place, they can
be found in unsecured places like musical greeting cards, remote
controls, books, flashing jewelry, small electronic devices and novelty
Prevention is the key to keeping children safe from injury from button
batteries. Canadian parents and caregivers are reminded to:
Make sure the button batteries in household products stay securely
contained in the products for which they are intended.
Supervise children when they use products containing button batteries.
Do not allow children to play with button batteries or remove them from
Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your child has swallowed
a battery. Do not let the child eat or drink, and do not induce
vomiting until medical attention is received.
While button-type batteries have unique risks associated with them, all
types of batteries can pose a health risk if not properly installed,
used, stored or discarded. Parents and caregivers can learn more at our
Healthy Canadians web page on Battery Safety.
Health Canada's participation in International Product Safety Week
represents the Department's commitment to working globally on product
safety issues. It's also one of the trilateral initiatives identified
at the North American Consumer Product Safety Summit hosted in Ottawa
in September 2013, attended by Minister of Health Rona Ambrose and her
product safety counterparts from the United States and Mexico.
In 2011, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act came into force, giving the Government stronger and more modern
legislative powers to help protect Canadians from unreasonably
dangerous consumer products.
Since 2006, an average of 65 emergency room visits per year has been
associated with button batteries. Of these incidents, 70% were
Children under five years of age are most at risk, as they're most
likely to mouth and potentially swallow objects such as button
batteries which are small and shiny, and therefore attractive to young
It's important to act quickly if your child has ingested a battery.
Button cell batteries can cause serious internal chemical burns in as
little as two hours if swallowed.
"The Government of Canada is proud to participate in International
Product Safety Week alongside government partners from around the
world. With consumer product safety truly being a global affair, these
types of collaborative efforts are critical to protecting the health
and safety of our citizens."
Minister of Health
"The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is playing a
leading role in bringing together regulators from across the globe to
tackle the enormous product safety challenges we all face. Information
sharing is the key to making a difference. Sharing information on the
serious injuries and deaths of children who have ingested button
batteries - the small circular lithium batteries that are used to power
a growing number of gadgets and toys - is a case in point."
Director of the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry
Healthy Canadians - Battery Safety
Health Canada - Is your Child Safe?
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information:
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose Federal Minister of Health
Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media