Dave Waterhouse of Bridgewater, N.S., says the batteries of the Big Hugs Elmo toy he purchased became so overheated he worried it would start a fire. (CBC)

It’s supposed to give big warm hugs, but a Bridgewater, N.S., man says his Big Hugs Elmo is too hot to handle.

Dave Waterhouse bought the popular toy for a three-year-old family member, but is now warning parents that some Big Hugs Elmos might be dangerous.

Soon after inserting the batteries, Waterhouse said, he smelled burning plastic. The batteries were getting so hot the plastic casing around them was splitting.

And Elmo was giving no hugs.

"We had to pull [the batteries] out," Waterhouse said. "There was so much heat."

Waterhouse tried three sets of batteries in all, but each time the same thing happened.

He may not be alone. There are some reports online from customers who say their Big Hugs Elmo did the same thing.

Waterhouse called and emailed Hasbro, the company that makes the toy. He got a call back on Boxing Day, with an offer to replace his Big Hugs Elmo and pay for him to return the one he purchased.

But that’s not enough, Waterhouse said. He wants the company to warn parents about the potential hazard.

"Right on the box there’s a child lying in bed with Elmo," said Waterhouse, who expressed concern about the possible fire hazard.

Hasbro did not respond to inquiries by CBC.