Don't Play Games with Toy Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 20, 2023
Contact: Caleb Kulich, Public Information Officer, (608) 621-1290,​

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MADISON, Wis. – For many Wisconsinites, gift giving during the holiday season is a cherished tradition. But choosing the right gift takes time and attention, especially when the recipient is a child. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) encourages buyers to consider toy safety while holiday shopping.

Consumers should check toy packaging or product webpages for:

  • Warning labels like “s​​mall parts," “magnets," “suffocation hazard," etc.

  • A suggested age range,​ or “age grading," provided by the manufacturer.

  • Safety verification labels​ from ASTM International and Underwriter Laboratories (UL).
    • For example: ASTM D4236 labeling for art materials indicates that the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist and includes any necessary cautions or information.
    • Toys sold in the U.S.​​ must meet ASTM F963 standards, which are meant to prevent injuries from choking, sharp edges, and other hazards.

  • ​“Flame resistant" labeling on toys with fabrics.​

​Other considerations to make while toy shopping:​​

  • If there are safety item​s that go along with your gift, like a helmet for a bike or scooter, consider including them in your purchase.

  • Be cautious of toys that include small batteries, which can pose choking and chemical hazards if ingested. Make sure a toy's battery compartment is firmly secured, and if it is rechargeabl​e, be mindful of burn risks caused by overheating.

  • Understand the risk of small magne​​​​ts. If swallowed, magnets can stick together in a child's intestinal tract and may require surgical removal.

  • Check for possible unlabeled​​ dangers like sharp points, projectiles, and splinters.

  • If you are purchasing used toys, avoid any with chipped paint to prevent possible exposure to lead.

Some toys ca​n be dangerous in certain circumstances. Even if your gift is intended for an older child, consider whether a younger sibling also lives in the household.​​

To check for products that have been recalled, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at CPS​

For more information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit DATCP's Consumer Protection webpage at DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline can be contacted at (800) 422-7128 or


Find more DATCP news in our newsroom, on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.​​​​