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Children's Products FAQ

Answers and definitions to answer your questions about toy safety

Safe Toys FAQ

  • What makes a toy "hazardous"?

    If during the course of normal use or through wear and tear, the product has a risk of injury or illness through:

    1. electrical hazard;
    2. mechanical hazard;
    3. thermal hazard;
    4. toxicity from ingestion, inhalation or absorption through skin or any body surface;
    5. flammability; or
    6. asphyxiation or suffocation;


    For more information on the definitions see Minn. Stat. §325F.09.

  • What is a toy?

    Any toy, game, or product that is designed, labeled, advertised, or otherwise intended for use by children.

  • How is "child" defined?

    Any person under 14 years of age.

Formaldehyde FAQ


Minnesota’s ban on certain children’s products containing formaldehyde was enacted during the 2013 legislative session (MN Stat. §325F.176 – 325F.178).

The law bans manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers from selling certain children’s products containing formaldehyde.

The effective dates were delayed and rolled out in two waves: 

  • August 1, 2014 for manufacturers and wholesalers 
  • August 1, 2015 for retailers

Bisphenol-A in Children’s Bottles, Cups and Food Containers FAQ


Minnesota’s ban on children’s food containers containing Bisphenol-A (BPA) was enacted during the 2013 legislative session (MN Stat. §325F.172 – 325F.175). 

The law bans:

  • manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers from selling children’s bottles or cups containing BPA 
  • manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers from selling infant formula, baby food, or toddler food stored in a container that contains BPA. 
  • manufacturers from replacing BPA chemicals in containers that store infant formula, baby food, or toddler food with other known toxic chemicals

The effective dates were delayed and rolled out in two waves:

  • August 1, 2014 for manufacturers and wholesalers
  • August 1, 2015 for retailers

  • How is “children’s product” defined?

    An empty bottle or cup to be filled with food or liquid that is designed or intended by a manufacturer to be used by a child under the age of three.

  • How is “baby food” defined?

    Prepared solid food consisting of a soft paste or an easily chewed food that is primarily intended for consumption by children two years of age or younger and is commercially available.

  • How is “container” defined?

    A receptacle, box, can or jar, including the lid, that is in direct physical contact with a children’s food.

  • How is “infant formula” defined?

    A liquid or power that purports to be or is represented for special dietary use solely as a food for infant by reason of its simulation of human milk or its suitability as a complete or partial substitute for human milk.

  • How is “toddler food” defined?

    Any food or beverage, other than baby food or infant formula, that is primarily intended for consumption by children under three years of age. Toddler food in can containers is not included in this definition.

Retailer FAQ

  • What is my responsibility as a retailer?

    To refrain from selling:

    • Certain children’s products containing formaldehyde or bisphenol-A (BPA)
    • Any hazardous toy 
    • Any children’s item banned by the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce or the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)


    The manufacturer or distributor of items banned by the CPSC should contact all retailers selling their product when the CPSC orders a recall, but you are not exempt from your responsibilities if they fail to contact you. Therefore, you should be vigilant and monitor the banned item list yourself. Be proactive and check the list before ordering new products. It is easier never to sell a banned item than it is conduct a recall on a banned item.

  • How do I know which toys and children's items have been banned?

    All toys and children’s items banned by the CPSC are also banned by the Commissioner of Commerce. The full list of recalled items can be found on the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/.

    The ban on formaldehyde in children’s products includes products primarily designed or intended by a manufacturer to be physically applied to or introduced into a child’s (under the age of eight) body, but excludes food, beverage, dietary supplements, pharmaceutical or biologic products, medical devices and children’s toys covered by the ASTM International F963 standard for Toy Safety. Manufacturers cannot replace formaldehyde in products with other known toxic chemicals.

    The ban on BPA in children’s food containers includes:

    • Bottles or cups containing BPA designed for children under the age of three
    • Infant formula, baby food intended for children age two and under, or toddler food intended for children under the age of three stored in a container containing BPA
    • Replacing BPA chemicals in containers that store infant formula, baby food, or toddler food with other known toxic chemicals
  • What do I do if I discover that I have been selling banned children's items?

    • Stop.  Remove the banned items from sale immediately.
    • Immediately prepare and prominently display a “Notice of Refund  Procedures” sign for a minimum of 120 days per MN Rules 2630.1600

    The display must be in a prominent location and include the following information:

    1. the model or distinguishing characteristics, 
    2. name and address of the manufacturer
    3. nature of the hazard associated with the product
    4. the process of return/refund or repair

    The notification should read, as follows:

    NOTICE OF REFUND PROCEDURES FOR BANNED TOYS OR ARTICLES FOR CHILDREN.

    IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE MINNESOTA SAFE TOYS ACT, THIS STORE HAS AVAILABLE A LIST OF TOYS AND OTHER CHILDREN'S ARTICLES THAT HAVE BEEN SOLD IN THIS STORE AND THAT HAVE RECENTLY BEEN BANNED BY THE MINNESOTA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE.

    THESE ARTICLES ARE HAZARDOUS AND SHOULD NOT BE USED. THIS LIST IS AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AT: (describe location where available).

    THE LIST CONTAINS IDENTIFICATION OF THE BANNED ARTICLE, THE NATURE OF THE HAZARD ASSOCIATED WITH THE ARTICLE, AND HOW A REFUND, REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT MAY BE OBTAINED.

    The notice must be at least 22 by 28 inches in size, printed in color contrasting with the background.

    If the person who returns a banned toy has a receipt, the dealer must refund the retail purchase price and reimburse the consumer for any reasonable and necessary costs that were a result of the return.

    If the consumer does not provide proof of purchase, the retailer must refund the average retail purchase price during the previous 12-month period or the most recent price paid for the toy.

    • Return your unsold inventory and any items you have received as part of the refund process to your manufacturer or distributor.  The manufacturer and distributor are required to reimburse you per Minnesota Rules section 2630.1300
  • The CPSC has just banned an item which I have been selling. I know I have to stop selling the item, but do I have to offer refunds on items sold before the ban?

    It depends upon the details of the ban. Some bans apply for all sales regardless of when they took place.  Others might apply only to items made after a certain date, or between a set of dates.  Go to the CPSC web site to find more details.

  • My main business is selling gasoline or groceries. Why does my inspection report have a Safe Toys Link on it?

    The Department of Commerce is trying to reach all retailers who sell children’s items, especially those retailers who may not be aware that they have responsibilities under Minnesota’s Safe Toys Act.