Health Canada is warning parents and caregivers to get rid of a popular old toy that is no longer considered safe after the recent choking death of an infant.
The department says Fisher-Price Little People toys made before 1991 are a choking risk for small children and should be discarded in a way that ensures they aren't re-used or resold.
The company changed the design of the popular toys in 1991 after seven deaths and one serious injury in children under three who had choked on the little figurines.
The newer style is chunkier and too big to go down the throat of a young child.
Health Canada issued the warning after recently learning of a death of a 10-month-old child who had been playing with one of the old-style Little People toys.
The death occurred after an older "Little People" figure became lodged in the child's throat. This incident has brought attention to the fact that these products are still used in play in Canadian households. Additionally, these products continue to be sold in some second-hand retail establishments (including internet retailers and resellers).
The older toys are about two centimetres in diameter, while the newer ones are about three centimetres wide, as well as being taller and chunkier.
Fisher-Price launched a public information campaign in 1992, entitled the "Family Alert Program," in response to reports of seven fatalities and one serious injury related to the use of these figures by children under the age of three.