Health Canada has written to manufacturers and suppliers of juvenile articles warning them of the risks associated with teething necklaces. Having previously warned parents and carers about the risks, their advice to industry includes information on minimum performance criteria to which the articles should conform.
Health Canada has concluded that teething necklaces, aimed at children aged three years or under, may present a threat to children through:
- Strangulation as the item is worn around the neck
- Choking or respiration hazard as small parts may be released if the article is broken
Currently there is no specific legislation governing the safety requirements for teething necklaces. They are, however, covered by the general requirements of the Canada Consumer Product Act (CCPSA) that consumer products should not be placed on the market if they are a “danger to human health and safety”.
Despite having no specific performance criteria related to them, Health Canada has said teething necklaces should meet the following four performance criteria to not pose a threat to human health and safety.
- Strangulation - both:
- ASTM F2923-14 Standard Specification for Consumer Product Safety for Children’s Jewelry Section 13.1 - Breakaway Tension Test (The necklace must separate at a load below 22.2 N (5 lb) instead of the 66.6 N (15 lb) stated in section 13.1 of ASTM F2923-14)
- ASTM F963-17 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety Section 184.108.40.206 - Cords, Straps, and Elastics Containing a Breakaway Feature (Additionally the breakaway feature shall be capable of being reattached without altering the characteristics of the attachment. This to prevent caregivers to attach by alternate means, like a knot.)
- Choking and Aspiration - Toys Regulations (SOR/2011-17) Section 7 - Small parts – (The necklace may not be a small part, nor release small parts after use and abuse testing. A force of 4.45 N is applied to assess weather small parts fit in the small parts cylinder)
- Labelling: The following warning or its equivalent must appear on the product or its packaging in English and French:
WARNING! Strangulation hazard. Adult supervision required at all times. Always remove for sleep.
MISE EN GARDE! Risque d’étranglement. La supervision d’un adulte est requise en tout temps. Toujours retirer pour dormir.
Stakeholders are advised to check their products now comply with these four performance criteria to ensure access to the Canadian market.
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