Health Canada

Health Canada

December 17, 2009 17:40 ET

Health Canada Urges Consumer Caution This Holiday Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2009) - Increased use of electrical and battery-operated products, such as sparkling lights, decorations and toys, has become a modern-day holiday tradition. Health Canada is reminding consumers to use caution when choosing and using these products to prevent injury and illness.

When buying electrical products, make sure that they bear one of the recognized Certification marks or Field Evaluation marks (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/_2008/2008_180-eng.php), which verifies that the product has been certified to the required Canadian electrical safety standards. Electrical products that are not properly certified to the standards required by provincial and territorial electrical authorities can lead to electrical shock and fire, resulting in property damage, injury, and even death.

Batteries are used in many children's toys, but do contain harmful substances like acids and heavy metals. If batteries are not correctly used, stored and discarded, these harmful substances may leak, or the batteries may overheat or burst. If batteries are swallowed, they may be poisonous, requiring immediate medical attention. Health Canada reminds parents and caregivers to always supervise children when they play and teach them how to play safely. Additional information on battery safety can be found on the Health Canada website (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/child-enfant/toys-jouets/batteries-piles-eng.php).

Consumers should also ensure that their holiday gifts have not been recently voluntarily recalled by companies. For a complete list of recalled consumer products in Canada, please consult the Consumer Product Recall Database (http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/home-accueil-eng.jsp).

For more information on how to help keep your family safe from common holiday-related hazards, please consult Health Canada's Holiday and Winter Safety video (http://hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/securit/season-saison/holiday-fetes/index-eng.php) or Health Canada's fact sheet on How to Have a Fun and Safe Holiday Season (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pubs/cons/holiday-securit-fetes-eng.php).

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