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Consumer advocates are joining a congressman's call for mandatory warning labels on toys that contain parts small enough for toddlers to choke on.

Rep. Sam Gejdenson, D-Conn., said Thursday that labels stating "Ages 3 and up" seem to many parents simply like recommendations for ability levels and not a safety warning."Too often the proud parent thinks `my Susie and my Sammy are so smart they certainly have the ability to play with this toy,' " said Ann Brown, chairwoman of the consumer affairs committee of Americans for Democratic Action.

"Little does the unsuspecting parent realize that this is not an ability label but is a danger label and should be followed absolutely," she said.

Gejdenson has drafted legislation to require all toys with small parts to include a label with the word "WARNING" in capital letters and a statement that children under 3 can choke on the parts.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibits toy manufac turers from marketing products with small parts to children under 3, but the agency has no labeling requirements. Most U.S. manufacturers print age recommendations on the toy packages, but many of those do not outline the potential health hazard.