While the temptation may be great, Minnesota Commerce Department enforcement officer Jacqueline Olson cautioned consumers on the KMRS Early Morning Show to be wary of cheap, knock-off toys that may be riddled with safety issues.
“The name brand toys, they’re big companies, they have all these requirements that they have to meet for federal guidelines,” said Olson. “I would say most of the stuff that we see…that gets through that is not safe is available online. Things inside the stores, that hasn’t really been a big problem for us because if you can physically go to a store you can rely on the fact that those stores and those products are probably vetted several times before they’re actually put on their shelves. But when you’re dealing with online sellers, there’s just not that same thing.”
Olson said consumers should watch where toys are made and if there are any labels on the package that indicate if the toy has gone through a safety certification process. And always buy age appropriate products, she noted, as toys for older children may not be safe for younger kids.