The popularity of fidget spinners – those small, hand-held twirling gizmos - exploded this summer, becoming a favorite toy among old and young alike. The spinners have taken over cubicles and classrooms due to the availability (they’re everywhere) and affordable price (most are less than $20). Plus, they are just a bit addictive.
While some extol the gadget’s benefits – they help some kids with autism and attention disorders to concentrate, others, including safety officials, are alarmed by the hazards this toy can generate.
On Aug. 10th, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issued a statement, cautioning the public of the choking and fire hazards, as well as the melting incidents. While no deaths have been reported, there have been several incidents involving young children, including a 10-year old girl who choked on a fidget spinner and had to have the piece surgically removed, according to the commission.
In its statement, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission warns users and potential buyers of fidget spinners to take the following precautions:
- Keep fidget spinners away from small children (the plastic and metal spinners can break and release small pieces that can be choking hazards);
- Don’t let older children put them in their mouths;
- Pay attention to the devices while charging them (for battery operated spinners) since there have been reports of fires;
- Use the charging cable that comes with the fidget spinner or one that has correct connections for the device. (Charging cables are NOT interchangeable.)
The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission’s latest warning regarding fidget spinners is an opportunity to remind all parents that when it comes to toys, precautions should be taken. Choking is the leading cause of injury and death among children, especially those under the age of 4. And the majority of choking-related incidents are due to toys, food and coins.
Adult supervision is the best way to prevent accidents involving toys from happening. Other safety measures include:
- Get rid of broken toys. In addition to the potential choking hazards of broken toys, sharp edges can cause injury.
- Check for small parts. Any toy that can be broken down into small parts should be kept away from young children.
- Read labels. Check the toy’s recommended age rating to ensure they are appropriate for your child's age. And, take heed, accidents occur because younger kids play with older siblings’ toys, which is why adult supervision is so important.
It is also a good idea to register your toys and other products. By doing so, you'll be alerted if your toy has been recalled. You can sign up for a recall alert at www.recals.gov.
In the unfortunate situation there is a problem with your toy, the Consumer Product Safety Commission asks that you notify them of the issue. By visiting www.saferproducts.gov, you can report any product issue. The commission will review your report and allow other consumers to view your report (if you give them permission) so that others can make responsible purchasing decisions.
And, if your child or any family member becomes injured from the use of a toy or any product, we encourage you to contact the Casey Law Offices (414) 272-3776. Our team of experienced legal experts will work to recover any medical expenses and damages you have incurred from the injury.