Information update

Keeping Children and Pets Safe from Pesticides

Starting date:
June 29, 2016
Posting date:
June 29, 2016
Type of communication:
Information Update
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Important Safety Information, Chemical Hazard
General Public
Identification number:


Pesticides can be used for many purposes around the home, including treating pest or weed problems in your yard, sanitizing your pool, or trying to get rid of indoor rodents or creepy crawlers. All pesticides including pool chemicals should be handled with care and always stored out of sight and reach of children and pets. Children and pets should also be kept out of any areas being treated.

In 2014, Health Canada received 1884 incident reports related to pesticides. The majority of these relate to exposure by pets (76%) and humans, including children (14%). Most of these incidents that occurred in Canada involved products that can be purchased and used by the general public in and around the home, so it is important to take the necessary steps to help prevent these types of incidents by following Health Canada's advice below.

What you should do

To protect the well-being of your family and pets, make sure to only use pesticides that are registered for use in Canada. These pesticides can often be purchased in local hardware or home improvement stores, or gardening centres.

It is important to use pesticides safely by following all label directions and safety warnings. Follow these simple steps to help keep your loved ones and furry friends safe from pesticides:

  • Use pesticides only for their intended use; check the label and apply the product according to the directions.
  • Children and pets should leave the area when pesticides are being applied and should not be allowed to return until the residues are dry.
  • Make sure all child-resistant containers are functioning properly.
  • Teach children that the hazard symbols on chemical products mean "Danger! Do not touch."
  • Store items in their original containers out of the reach of children and pets and keep all safety information.
  • Do not let children go near swimming pool and spa chemicals - these should only be applied by adults, which can require using the proper protective equipment (for example, goggles, gloves or footwear).
  • Consider using a licensed pest control operator if you have a pest issue in or around your home.
  • If you are treating your pet for fleas or ticks, make sure you follow Health Canada's advice on the safe use of these pest control products.
  • Keep emergency numbers by your telephone just in case. If a poisoning is suspected, you should contact your local Poison Control Centre or call 911 immediately.

If you are unsure how to best manage a particular pest problem, visit the Health Canada website for more information or consider hiring a licensed pest control operator. Also, remember to follow any provincial or municipal restrictions that may apply.

To check for the most recent product information, use Health Canada's new pesticide label search mobile app.

Report health or safety concerns

Report any adverse events from a pest control product to the manufacturer, who is required by law to report it to Health Canada. You may also report an incident directly to Health Canada by completing an incident report form.

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