On the Fourth Day of the Holidays a Counterfeiter Gave to Meee…
Today’s featured counterfeit hits right at the heart of the holidays. While it’s safe to say that children around the world aren’t looking for colly birds (as the song suggests) under their trees, they are definitely anticipating Angry Birds or other types of toys and games.
However, as recent news stories on the burgeoning business of fake toys suggest, parents need to remain extremely vigilant about where and what they are buying for their children. Counterfeit toys are more than cheap. They’re downright dangerous.
According to the U.S. Customs and Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were over 193,000 toy-related emergency department treated injuries for children under the age of 15 in the United States. The growth of toy counterfeiting is only adding to the health risks of children, especially during the holidays.
And you’d never believe what they’re finding in these fakes. Take, for example, a recent seizure of $3 million in fake toys—including Angry Birds plush animals—in Canada:
“We opened a couple of these toys … and we found dog hair, we found human hair, we found odds and sods of stuff,” he [RCMP Insp. Todd Gilmore] said of an Angry Birds toy. “My concern is a kid’s going to receive this toy, maybe even a toddler sitting in their crib chewing on the end of it … what are they putting in their mouths?”
If toys contaminated by body particles aren’t enough, here’s what U.S. federal customs and border protection foundwhen they recently seized two million units of children toys:
“The innocent-looking playthings from overseas manufacturers were blocked from entering the country because they all can be hazardous to the health of a child, investigators said. Some contained dangerously high levels of lead. Others had sharp edges or contained small parts that could choke a small child.”
Criminal counterfeiters who cut corners are putting substandard, easily breakable, and contaminated products into the hand of children. Their low-cost, low-risk business model is designed to skirt the laws and regulations that ensure product quality and safety, especially for children. And with the added degree of separation between seller and buyer through online shopping, parents may never know what exactly they’re getting for their children this holiday season.
That is why in addition to the scrutiny of parents, the work by our federal law enforcement officials is so very important in making sure our children have safe and healthy holidays, birthdays, in addition to other occasions and non-occasions.
For more information on Dangerous Fakes, please visit www.DangerousFakes.com.
Image from iStock