Toy Safety during the holiday season - Safe play and injury prevention should be a priority when holiday shopping

December 6, 2013
For immediate release

OAKVILLE, ONTARIO - On behalf of the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, Parliamentary Secretary, Eve Adams, Member of Parliament for Mississauga - Brampton South, Ontario today reminded Canadians to choose wisely this holiday season when shopping for toys for children and to keep injury prevention top of mind.

For the period between June 2011 and November 6, 2013, for children under the age of 12, Health Canada has received 185 incident reports related to toys, 10 reports related to children's jewellery and 37 reports related to children's sporting equipment.

"The holidays are a time for family and fun, and it is often a time when many new toys come into the home," said Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams. "We are urging all parents to be mindful of toy safety while shopping this year to ensure a safe and fun holiday season." said Parliamentary Secretary Adams.  

"Holiday fun should never end due to the tragedy of a preventable injury. Our children deserve to spend their holidays safe and filled with joy," said Louise Logan, President and CEO of Parachute.  "We support the Government's ongoing efforts to improve toy safety and to promote these important injury prevention messages for Canadian families and caregivers."

Using unsafe toys - or using safe toys in unsafe ways - can put a child at risk for illness or injury.  Canadians are advised to use the following safety tips to guide their toy purchases:

  • 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;
  • Look for sturdy, well-made toys;
  • Look for toys that come with contact information for the manufacturer or importer; and
  • Remember to check the Government of Canada's Recalls and Safety Alerts Database to see if a toy has been recalled.

Once the toys are at home, parents and caregivers should continue to be vigilant. For example, toys should be checked often for hazards like loose parts, broken pieces or sharp edges and any weak or damaged toys should be repaired or discarded. All toy packaging, such as plastic wrap, foam, staples, ties and temporary plastic films should be removed and thrown away.  For more information, please read Health Canada's guide to toy safety Is Your Child Safe? - Playtime.

If consumers experience a health or safety incident with a toy they have in their home, they should report it to the manufacturer or the retailer it was bought from. They can also report incidents on Health Canada's website.  


Media Enquiries:

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

Public Enquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709