Okanagan-Shuswap Consumer: Parents should check before buying hazardous, prohibited products

Cross-Border Shopping:

(NC)-Certain consumer products are prohibited or regulated in Canada for safety reasons. Some of the items you, as a parent, go looking for in the United States or other countries could be illegal because they could put your child at risk.

Before you go cross-border shopping, make a note of the products that are prohibited or regulated in Canada, to prevent surprises when re-entering Canada.

These are examples of products that are prohibited in Canada:

  • Baby walkers - children have either fallen down stairs in a baby walker or have increased access to hot surface and liquid or electrical cords;
  • Infant self-feeding devices - structural devices to position feeding bottles, which allow babies to feed themselves while unattended;
  • Yo-yo balls - risk of strangulation;
  • Balloon-blowing kits that contain a poisonous organic solvent;
  • Novelty candles that re-light spontaneously once extinguished;
  • Jequirity beans, including items containing these poisonous beans (sometimes used in jewellery and artwork) - native to the Carribean; and
  • Lawn darts with elongated tips can cause serious injuries, including skull punctures.

These are examples of regulated products that must meet Canadian safety standards:

  • Children's sleepwear - must meet flammability requirements;
  • Cribs - cribs should have the manufacturer's label indicating the model number, date of manufacture and assembly instructions;
  • Strollers - must meet labelling and performance requirements;
  • Toys - must meet mechanical, electrical, toxicity and flammability requirements;
  • Hockey helmets and face protectors - must meet the requirements of the Canadian Standards Association; and
  • Playpens - must meet labelling and performance requirements.

We put so much time and effort into planning what to pack for vacation that many of us forget to think about what we can bring back. The Health Canada website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/travellingcanadians, explains all of this and has links to the lists of prohibited and regulated products in Canada.


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