Don’t leave toy safety to chance: "Chemicals or other factors might be a danger to children"

MADISON -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection asks consumers to think about the safety of each potential gift before hitting the register this holiday season.

“Pay attention to the safety guidance on the packaging and consider whether any small pieces, magnets, chemicals or other factors might be a danger to children in the home,” said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

According to a press release, a product’s popularity doesn’t dictate its safety.  This summer, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall on one of last year’s most popular gifts: “hoverboards” (self-balancing scooters).  The CSPC recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards due to fire hazards caused by overheating batteries.  At least 99 incidents of burns or property damage were reported to the agency with reports of batteries overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.

The devices in these recalls were not UL-certified, meaning they did not meet the globally recognized standards for safety.  If you are considering buying a hoverboard or any other product that has electrical or battery components, make sure the model has been issued a safety certification before making your purchase.

Look for these labels on toy packaging or on product pages:

    Some additional things to think about when shopping for gifts for children:

      Safety concerns don’t end at the register.  Be mindful of younger children and keep small or pointed toys and accessories out of their reach.  Lastly, make sure to read any battery charging instructions that come with toys as chargers and adapters can overheat and pose burn hazards to young children.

      For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128 or send an e-mail to