Over the last five days, the world has celebrated Child Safety Week, the Child Accident Prevention Trust’s annual campaign to raise awareness and generate dialogue on all aspects of child safety.
As a brand protection company, this important week presented a key opportunity to discuss and promote safety issues which impact children directly – and what businesses, consumers and the community can do reduce the risk of harm. One area that we at SnapDragon feel particularly passionate about is the risk counterfeit products can expose to children around the world.
Whether playing with counterfeit toys or at risk from shoddy car seats, clothing or childcare goods, substandard fakes pose a serious risk to young consumers at any age.
Why child safety matters to us
Child safety is a topic we at SnapDragon know all too well. Indeed, our company was actually born after our CEO and founder had her globally successful Totseat highchair copied by criminals. Learning from her experience and heartache, we know first-hand the risks and devastation that can occur from counterfeits – particularly when the integrity of any brand’s child safe products are compromised by unscrupulous infringers.
When it comes to counterfeit toys and childcare products, the substandard features and hidden cost of cheap copies go far beyond their low price tag. Not subject to the same care and regulations of a genuine brand, they also come with a variety of dangers, from electrical or fire hazards through to choking risks, harsh chemicals and poor durability. Any or all of these dangers in combination are simply unacceptable in 2023 and, most importantly, threaten child safety – as well as the reputation of any brands which overlooks them.
As our founder can attest, responsible and regulated toy and childcare manufacturers will carry out thorough testing on their goods well before they reach retailer shelves. These tests ensure toys are safe, age appropriate and don’t expose children to any unforeseen dangers. Sadly however, when it comes to counterfeits, child safety measures are totally ignored – in favour of mass-producing goods, in the cheapest and fastest way possible, regardless of the consequences.
In the face of such reckless attitudes, which harm brands and children alike, the risk of allowing counterfeits to proliferate unchecked are endless – and something no child should ever be subject to.
What to do and how to fight fakes
As this year’s Child Safety Week draws to a close, we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect and impart some wisdom on what brands can do to protect children against counterfeit toys and childcare goods.
Here are our top five tips:
- Raise awareness: Educate your consumers on the dangers of counterfeit products in the toy and childcare industry.
- Control distribution: Keep track of resellers and maintain control of your distribution channel to ensure all products sold are genuine.
- Highlight product differences: Share tips on how consumers can identify copycat products by pointing out differences in price, distribution channels, and design details.
- Monitor online platforms: Regularly check marketplaces, websites and social media for illegitimate copies.
- Ask for help: Alert your community to report any illegitimate copies found. Brand communities have proven their effectiveness in reporting such threats over the years. Or contact us at SnapDragon Monitoring, where we are always happy to help ensure copycats are prevented from damaging your brand and undermining child safety.
As we reflect on a week all about children, it is critical that brands work harder than ever to keep their littlest consumers protected from counterfeit products which pose such a high risk to their safety.
By communicating effectively on their risks, taking action to monitor and remove any fakes that are found and working as a community, we believe we can fight back against this dangerous trade and keep our children safe from fakes once and for all.