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New Safety Requirements for Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets - Canada

  • Date : 2010-12-05
  • Health Canada
  • Synopsis : Changes to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) that will make cribs cradles and bassinets safer for infants and young children.

Main Document

At an event held today, the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, and Shelly Glover, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, announced changes to the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) that will make cribs, cradles and bassinets safer for infants and young children.

"The health and safety of young children is a top priority for the Harper Government, which is why Canada's requirements for cribs and cradles are already among the most stringent in the world," said Minister Aglukkaq. "These amendments further strengthen our existing safety requirements and introduce new standards for bassinets, which were previously unregulated in Canada."

"As a parent, I know that these new regulations will relieve the minds of many parents - especially new moms," said Shelly Glover. "These regulations will make it easier for parents to help keep their newborns, babies and toddlers safe."

Some of the most notable changes to the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations include the following amendments:

  • Broadening the definition of a crib by eliminating the distinction between standard and portable cribs, and include stand-alone bassinets within scope of the Regulations;
  • Including bassinets and requirements relating to their required packaging and labelling, and construction and performance (flammability, side height, static load, shearing and pinching hazards, etc);
  • Eliminating toeholds that could enable a young child to climb out of a crib and fall to the floor causing a risk of injury; and,
  • Including a requirement specifying that manufacturers or importers must maintain records relating to the sale, advertisement and testing of crib, cradle and bassinet products for a period of at least 3 years.

The full text of the regulatory amendment can be found on the Health Canada website. In addition to these regulatory amendments, Health Canada is currently asking for feedback on additional proposed changes to the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations that would, most notably, prohibit the advertisement, sale and importation in Canada of traditional drop-side cribs, as well as other cribs with sides that are not rigidly attached to the crib ends. We encourage parents and families to visit Health Canada's website for more information on this consultation process.

"Parents can tell you that welcoming a new baby into the family is an exciting and overwhelming time. A hundred decisions need to be made, including which crib to choose," said Pamela Fuselli, Executive Director of Safe Kids Canada. "These new crib safety regulations mean Canadian parents can be more confident that their babies will sleep safely, especially since most infants spend much of their time in cribs unsupervised."

"We at Option Consommateurs welcome any step taken by government to
guarantee the safety of Canadian consumers," said Anu Bose, Head, Ottawa Office, Option Consommateurs. "We also look forward to the day when the Minister has the power to order mandatory recalls of defective and dangerous products, which is why we have supported Bill C-36, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, now in the Senate."

It is important for Canadians to remember that second-hand cribs that are being sold or given away must meet the current regulations. Cribs, cradles and bassinets without a label or instructions may not be safe and should not be sold or purchased. Cribs with visible signs of damage, missing parts or missing warning information should be destroyed.

More information on crib safety is available on Health Canada's website. A Fact Sheet highlighting the changes to the Cribs, Cradles and Bassinets Regulations is also available at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2010/2010_212bk-eng.php

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