Magnets that are very small can be easily swallowed or inhaled. Unlike other small objects that would be more likely to pass normally through the digestive system if swallowed, when more than one powerful magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract one another while travelling through the digestive system. The magnets can then pinch together and create a blockage and slowly tear through the intestinal walls, causing perforations. The results can be very serious and even fatal. There have been many cases of children requiring emergency surgical treatment to remove swallowed magnets and/or magnetic toy pieces from their intestines.
Establishing a new research centre which will strengthen Canada's ability to pinpoint and stop food-borne illnesses:
The Government of Canada continues to be committed to food safety and illness prevention by enhancing food-borne illness surveillance to ensure the best possible protection for Canadians. The Government is expanding its proactive food-borne illness surveillance program, known as C-EnterNet, with a third surveillance site. C-EnterNet tracks food and water-borne gastrointestinal illnesses and their likely sources (e.g., food, water and livestock) to identify risks, to prevent diseases from occurring and to lessen the impact of illness on Canadians.
C-EnterNet, which is facilitated by the Public Health Agency of Canada, relies on collaboration among public health partners at all levels of government, industry and other stakeholders within each surveillance site. It is currently active in two sites: Region of Waterloo, Ontario and Fraser Region, British Columbia. The third surveillance site will enhance the Government's ability to inform food safety, public health decision making and policy development.
Improving the reporting of adverse drug reactions:
Adverse drug reactions are an important source of information used by Health Canada to detect potential new concerns with health products. We receive adverse reaction reports from drug manufacturers, healthcare professionals and consumers.
In recent years, Health Canada has looked at ways to improve the quality and quantity of adverse reaction reports from healthcare professionals. That's why we commissioned Accreditation Canada to include, for the first time, a component on the reporting of adverse drug reactions in its Medication Management Standards. The standards are now available to more than 700 health care facilities in Canada, including hospitals and long term care facilities. They will provide guidance such as how to report patients' adverse reactions to drugs, and who is responsible for reporting them.
The application of the adverse reaction reporting standard is expected to increase the quality and quantity of reporting from these organizations. Health Canada will monitor reporting to assess improvements under the new standard.
This new standard also complements Health Canada's efforts to promote adverse reaction reporting, including marketing activities aimed at health professionals in Canada.
Proposing enhanced safety standards for playpens sold in Canada:
The Department is considering a number of changes to the Playpens Regulations, to help further protect the safety of Canadian babies and children, including increasing side height requirements for playpens and establishing strict safety standards for playpen accessories.
The proposed changes would introduce stricter standards for side height, side and floor strength and latching and locking mechanisms, and additional requirements for safety warnings, floor pad spacing and thickness, and entanglement. Additionally, playpen accessories such as change tables and sleep accessories would be regulated products under the proposed regulations, establishing strict safety standards for these items, including performance requirements and test methods. These changes would further align Canada's Playpens Regulations with international standards, and build upon the 2010 Policy Statement for Playpen Accessories issued by the Department, which specifically addressed the hazards posed by playpen accessories.
Moving towards more plain language on drug labels:
'Plain language' means presenting drug information in a way that makes sense and is easy to read. Giving Canadians clear, understandable information about their medications will help them make better choices about their health.
For example, Health Canada is currently working with industry on new ways to choose drug names, so that we can reduce the number of medicines that are confused because their names look or sound alike. This will help Canadians avoid mixing up drugs that have similar names.
Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Federal Minister of Health
Most Popular Stories
- 2014 World Cup Official Noisemakers Quieter than Vuvuzelas
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Authorities Close to Deal with JPMorgan Chase over Madoff Response
- Apple Activates Customer-Tracking iBeacon
- It's No Yolk: Food-tech Startups Take Aim at Replacing Eggs
- 2013 Tech Gift Guide: iPad Mini Still Hot; Chromecast a Great Low-Cost Option
- Dell Offers Undisclosed Number of Employee Buyouts
- A Biography of Jonathan Ive, Apple's Creative Chief
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers