It’s that time of year again, where little ones everywhere are making their wish lists for Santa. You don’t have to look far to find all kinds of lists announcing the hottest toys of 2021.
You may, however, have to go all the way to the North Pole to find them. Supply chain problems and worker shortages in virtually every industry have made it rough for stores to keep their shelves stocked, and eager parents are snapping up the most-wanted toys as fast as they hit the stores.
Don’t go the knock-off route out of frustration
The consumer advocacy group The Toy Association is reminding parents that counterfeit toys and “look-alike” knock-offs are everywhere. While parents may be tempted to swap out a knock-off for the “real thing” when they can’t find what their children want, that could be dangerous — even deadly.
According to research, 54% of parents admit that they’ve done it before, and 44% say they would do it again (even if it does make them feel guilty) rather than disappoint their child. However, counterfeit toys are often made in fly-by-night overseas shops with inferior materials and workmanship.
That means the toys can easily break or lack important safeguards that are necessary to keep children from injuries. It’s also very hard to press a product liability claim against an overseas company that may vanish by the time the holidays are over.
With this in mind, parents are urged to shop at reputable stores, by brand names they recognize and trust and purchase directly from the manufacturer. If you can’t find a toy your child wants, get them something else and a promise that they’ll see the real thing as soon as Santa’s workshop gets caught up.
If someone in your household is injured by a defective product, make sure you take immediate steps to learn more about your legal options.