OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - In North America, Black Friday is increasingly becoming one of the busiest holiday shopping days of the year. This year, Black Friday is November 28 and Canada, the United States and Mexico are working cooperatively to remind consumers about the importance of toy safety.
Today, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, Wai Young, Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, Elliot Kaye, Chairman of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and Julian Juarez, Deputy Head of Mission from the Embassy of Mexico, representing the Consumer Protection Federal Agency (Profeco), visited Health Canada's Product Safety Laboratory and shared the following toy safety tips:
- Purchase age appropriate toys, as toys for older children may contain small parts or other hazards that may make them unsafe for young children.
- Read and follow the age labels, warnings, safety messages and assembly instructions that come with a toy.
- Purchase sturdy, well-made toys.
- Purchase toys that come with contact information for the manufacturer or importer.
- Promptly remove and discard all toy packaging like plastic bags, plastic wrap, foam, staples, ties and film protectors. A child can suffocate or choke on these items.
- Teach children of all ages that small magnets and small items containing magnets should never be placed in their mouth.
- Always supervise children and teach them how to use toys safely.
As part of the Cooperative Engagement Framework, Health Canada works with its product safety counterparts in the United States and Mexico on a number of product safety initiatives, including joint product recalls and awareness initiatives. All three countries are working towards a common goal of achieving the highest level of safety for consumers throughout North America and promoting a global culture of safety.
A few recent joint recalls of children's products include:
ALERT: Graco Children's Products Inc. recalls strollers & travel systems
McDonald's recalls Hello Kitty® Birthday Lollipop Whistle
Toys "R" Us recalls "Just like Home" Toaster
IKEA recalls GUNGGUNG Children's Swing
- On average, Health Canada receives 71 reports per year on toy-related health or safety concerns.
- Toys can be recalled for health or safety reasons. Check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database or download our mobile application for more information about the latest recalls.
- Toymakers in Canada are required to make sure their products follow the rules set out in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and associated regulations, such as the Toys Regulations.
"The busiest gift buying time of the year is fast approaching, so we are joining our international partners to remind consumers about the importance of selecting safe and age appropriate toys and using those toys safely."
Member of Parliament, Vancouver South
"We are all working together this holiday season with one goal in mind- that the toys North America's parents bring home for their children are safe. Our work with Health Canada and Profeco will continue to strengthen the marketplace and build consumer confidence in the safety of the North American marketplace, especially for children's toys."
Elliot F. Kaye
Chairman, United States Consumer Product Safety Commission
"Children are the most vulnerable consumers, [and] this Forum is the ideal framework for the development of suitable regulatory mechanisms. Trilateral cooperation underscores our commitment to promoting responsible consumption and working to ensure the safety of vulnerable consumers. Our priority is to keep consumers informed about possible risks to children"
Lorena Martínez Rodríguez
Federal Consumer Attorney, Consumer Protection Federal Agency (Profeco)
Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at: www.healthcanada.gc.ca/media
SOURCE: Health Canada
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Federal Minister of Health, (613) 957-0200; Health Canada, Media Relations, (613) 957-2983; Public Inquiries: (613) 957-2991, 1-866 225-0709