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Health Canada Urges Parents to Safeguard Children from Cord Strangulations

Starting date:
December 11, 2013
Posting date:
December 11, 2013
Type of communication:
Advisory
Subcategory:
Children's Products, Household Items
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Issue:
Strangulation Hazard
Audience:
General Public
Identification number:
RA-37171

Issue

Health Canada is urging parents and caregivers to safeguard children against the strangulation hazard posed by products with cords. While exploring their natural environment, children can become entangled in cords, which can quickly lead to strangulation and even death.

In recent years, there have been many reports of strangulation deaths and near-fatal incidents caused by cords on common household items like:

  • Blind cords;
  • Electrical products with long thin power cords;
  • Jewellery such as necklaces, including teething necklaces; and
  • Laces, string, thread, and ropes.

Recent recalls for corded products with reported injuries or deaths, such as the Bottom-Up Top-Down style Corded Window Blinds and Shades, Angelcare Baby Monitors and IKEA Canada’s SMILA wall mounted lamps highlight these risks and remind Canadians that kids and cords don’t mix.

Consumers should regularly check the Recalls and Safety Alerts Database for dangerous household items and take action to remove items of concern. Even if not recalled, parents and caregivers should always keep corded products out of children’s reach.
 

What you should do

If consumers own products affected by a recall they should immediately make sure cords are placed out of reach of children and to follow instructions on the recall notice.

In homes where children live or visit, it is recommended that appliances, devices, window coverings, or other household items with cords be removed from children’s rooms and places where children play. Strangulation can happen even when children are in places where parents think they are safe, such as in a crib or in a bedroom.  Parents and caregivers are also encouraged to follow these helpful tips:

Cord Safety

  • Avoid toys or products with cords that are long enough to wrap around a child’s neck, including stretchy or sticky cords. The cords could strangle a child.
  • Never put scarves, necklaces, straps or cords in or near an infant’s sleep or play area, or around a baby’s neck. These items can catch on another object and strangle a baby.

In addition to being a strangulation risk, cords can also present other dangers for children, such as pulling heavy appliances on top of them.

Corded Window Coverings

Health Canada recommends using cordless window covering products. If you cannot replace your corded window coverings, you can reduce the risk of serious injury by keeping cords up high and out of the reach of children.

Report health or safety concerns

Health Canada would like to remind Canadians to report any health or safety incidents related to the use of a consumer product or cosmetic. An incident report form is available on the Department’s website.

E-mail: CPSR-RSPC@hc-sc.gc.ca
Mail: Incident Report - Consumer Product Safety Directorate
Health Canada
269 Laurier Avenue West – 4907A
Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1A 0K9


Media enquiries

Health Canada
(613) 957-2983

Public enquiries

(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

What Health Canada is doing

Health Canada continues to work with stakeholders to address known hazards.

When a consumer product poses a danger to human health or safety, Health Canada can use its authority under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) to limit or prohibit its manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale in Canada.

Health Canada also provides information to Canadians about the selection and use of consumer products. The Department has recently issued the following safety messaging regarding cord safety, which can be found on our blind cord safety page and on our fact sheet on blind cord safety. Check out our latest news release advising Canadians to ‘go cordless’ in selecting window coverings.

For more information

Consumers and health professionals wanting more information about this Alert can contact the nearest Health Canada Product Safety Office by phone at 1-866-662-0666 (toll-free) or email at cps-spc@hc-sc.gc.ca (please indicate the province or territory from which you are corresponding).