Canadians planning on crossing the border this weekend for Black Friday deals should be careful not to buy certain products.
The Canadian government is warning that while some products may be allowed in the U.S., they don’t meet safety regulations north of the border. Trying to enter back into Canada with them in your car could cause delays and other problems.
Here are some products flagged by the government that Canadians probably shouldn’t buy down south.
There are several products that are legal in the U.S, but aren’t in Canada. If consumers are seen entering into Canada with them, border agents can confiscate them.
Some common products — and often unsuspecting ones — flagged by the government include:
Baby walkers: Baby walkers were banned in Canada in 2004 amid reports of injuries.
Balloon blowing kits: These kits have been banned in Canada since 1973, because it exposes children to inhaling the chemical vapours.
Infant self-feeding devices: These devices hold bottles so infants can drink unattended, however the government says they pose a choking hazard.
Jequirity beans: These orange or red beans are used to make jewellery, art or instruments, but they can contain toxic materials.
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Lawn darts with elongated tips: Lawn darts with longer tips are not allowed in Canada because they can cause serious injuries, including skull punctures.
Relight candles: These candles relight “spontaneously once they have been extinguished,” the government explains.
Yo-yo balls with long cords: Health Canada banned yo-yo balls and similar products in 2003 after several reports of near-strangulation.
Small, powerful magnets: Health Canada says these powerful magnets, often found in kids’ toys, can pose serious health risks (including death) if swallowed.
More details on banned products can be found here.
Different safety requirements
While these products are not banned in Canada, the two countries have different safety requirements for them.
Here are some common ones:
Baby gates: Baby gates in Canada must meet several requirements, including instructions and warnings in both English and French. All exposed material must have a smooth finish, and the openings of the gate must be small enough to prevent babies from placing their heads through them.
Car seats: All car seats in Canada have to have a “national safety mark” on them, meaning they are built in accordance with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Cribs, cradles and bassinets: These products have to meet a series of requirements, from labeling to measurements of slates and openings.
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Hockey helmets and face protectors: Hockey helmets have to meet Canadian Standards Association requirements. For example, they must have a chin strap. For goalies, helmets must have a face protector.
Lighters: Lighters in Canada need to have a child-resistant mechanism, and a warning label that reads, “KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN / TENIR HORS DE LA PORTÉE DES ENFANTS.”
Playpens: Like other products for young children, playpens need to meet labelling and measurement requirements specific to Canada.
Strollers: Strollers in Canada need to have a braking mechanism, a lap belt and crotch strap. Strollers that fold must lock automatically when opened.
More details on the regulations of the products above, and other differently regulated products, visit the government’s website.
Use extra caution with these products
The government has also flagged other products that aren’t banned and don’t have different regulations, but can cause some trouble during cross-border shopping.
It notes that TVs can tip over, and 70 per cent of tip-over reports in Canada involve young children.
Batteries, found in a variety of electronics, can also pose a risk to children and should be stored away from them.
Health Canada also warned that USB chargers must be certified, as others may not meet safety regulations and could pose a risk of fire.
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Online shopping rules
Health Canada also warned consumers buying products online that the same rules apply.
Canadians can technically buy products online that are banned in the country, counterfeit, under recalls or don’t meet safety regulations.
The government advises that consumers do their research before making purchases.