- Are home trampolines safe?
- Biting in child care: What are the risks?
- Bodychecking in ice hockey: What are the risks?
- Lyme disease
- Needle stick injuries
- Playground safety
- Skiing and snowboarding: Safety tips for families
- Sport-related concussion: Information for parents, coaches and trainers
- Water safety for young children
- When is my child ready for sports?
In the home
- Basic home safety: A checklist
- Food safety at home
- Gun safety: Information for families
- Healthy pets, healthy people: How to avoid the diseases that pets can spread to people
- How to safely dispose of a mercury thermometer
- Inhalant abuse: What parents should know
- Keep your baby safe
- Never shake a baby
- Pet Safety: Tips for bringing a pet into your home
- Safe sleep for babies
- Social media: What parents should know
- Your preschooler and safety: How to prevent injuries at home
On the move
Vaccines for children and youth
- 5-in-1 vaccine
- Chickenpox vaccine
- Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (dTap) vaccine
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- HPV vaccine for girls
- Influenza vaccine
- Meningococcal vaccine
- MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) vaccine
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- Rotavirus vaccine
- Vaccination and your child
- Your Child's Best Shot: A parent's guide to vaccination
Whatever the weather
How to safely dispose of a mercury thermometer
The Canadian Paediatric Society does not recommend using mercury thermometers (thermometers with silver material in the bulb). If it breaks, you can be exposed to this poisonous substance.
Although mercury is a liquid at room temperature, it easily evaporates into a gas that has no smell. That gas, or vapor, is toxic if it is inhaled (breathed in). There have been a few cases where children have become quite ill after breathing in the vapor from a single broken mercury thermometer.
Bring your mercury thermometer; to your city or province’s household hazardous waste collection facility. You can find more information about local waste collections from your local health department, provincial environment ministry’s website, or in the government listings of the phone book.
It is not safe to throw a mercury thermometer; in the garbage, down the sink or down the toilet. The mercury will become toxic to humans and the environment through the air or by getting into the water supply.
To safely clean up a broken mercury thermometer:
- Do not use a vacuum to clean up a mercury spill. The vacuum cleaner will become contaminated and the heat from the vacuum will create higher levels of mercury vapor.
- Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will just break up the mercury into smaller beads, and will contaminate the broom.
- Do not put contaminated items in the washing machine.
- Keep all people and pets away from the spill area and open the windows in that room. Do not turn up the heat while you are cleaning the spill.
- Environment Canada has detailed instructions for cleaning up a small mercury spill.
Reviewed by the following CPS committees:
Community Paediatrics Committee
Last Updated: January 2012