Information update

Consumer Product Update: Holiday Safety

Starting date:
December 8, 2015
Posting date:
December 8, 2015
Type of communication:
Information Update
Children's Products, Hobby/Craft Items, Household Items, Toys, Affects children, pregnant or breast feeding women, Electronics, Jewellery, Tools and Electrical Products
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information
General Public
Identification number:

OTTAWA – As we gather together with our family and friends over the holidays, it is important to keep safety in mind when decorating and choosing toys and gifts for loved ones. Holiday traditions involve some safety risks that may not often be found at other times of the year, but we can all take precautions to ensure a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.

Decorate your home wisely

Holiday lights and decorations are always fun to set up, but it’s important to remember to follow these simple steps before you get started. 

  • Choose the right light for the job: light strings and other decorations are rated for indoor or outdoor use. Ensure that indoor lights and decorations are only used inside. Read the package instructions and do not exceed the recommended wattage.
  • Some lights have been recalled. Check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database and Health Canada’s Consumer Product Update on recent seasonal light recalls before buying or using lights.
  • Use lights that have the mark of an accredited certification agency such as CSA, cUL or cETL.
  • Check all light bulbs before you put them up. Replace broken or burned-out bulbs with those recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Check the light strings and extension cords you use, discarding any that are frayed or have exposed wires, loose connections or broken light sockets.
  • Do not overload electrical outlets and always turn off all holiday lights before you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Choose tinsel, artificial icicles and other trimmings made of plastic or non-leaded metals. Don't let children put decorations in their mouths, as some may be harmful to their health.
  • Keep metal, sharp or breakable tree ornaments, and those with small removable parts, away from young children.

Choose appropriate toys and gifts

New toys and gifts are holiday highlights for many children; keep them safe by picking the right items.

  • Buy 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 other instructions that come with a toy.
  • Purchase sturdy, well-made toys that come with contact information for the manufacturer or importer.
  • Ensure batteries are not accessible to children and are properly installed by an adult.
  • Make sure that button batteries (often found in musical greeting cards, small electronic devices, children's books and flashing jewellery) stay securely in the products. Look for products with battery compartments that prevent easy access.
  • Actively supervise children at play and teach them to use their new toys safely.
  • Toys can be recalled for health or safety reasons. Check the Healthy Canadians Recalls and Safety Alerts Database for more information about the latest recalls.
  • Promptly remove and discard all toy packaging like plastic bags, plastic wrap, foam, staples, ties and protective film. A child can suffocate or choke on these items.

Media enquiries

Health Canada

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