Fidget spinners have become an increasingly popular item for people of many ages, however, federal safety officials indicate that some of the products may pose serious risks if not handled properly or put in the hands of young children.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a warning on August 10, indicating that fidget spinners may pose a choking hazard for young children if the plastic and metal spinners break.
Fidget spinners have a ball-bearing in the center of a multi-lobed, flat structure, which is designed to spin along its axis. The toys first largely hit the market in March 2017, and quickly became a hot product in the toy industry. They are widely found in stores nationwide, but not all fidget spinners have the same manufacturing quality.
The CPSC announced the warning shortly after opening an investigating into several reported incidents involving fidget spinners that resulted in young children choking, as well as reports of overheated battery powered fidget spinners starting fires.
Parents and caregivers are being warned to be cautious when allowing children, and especially those under the age of five, to use fidget spinners. Much like other small toys, young children may have a tendency to put the spinners, or their small broken pieces into their mouth, posing a choking and suffocation hazard.
Officials are also urging the public to handle charging the battery-powered fidget spinners similarly to any other chargeable device that could pose a threat of overheating and catching fire. Consumers are being asked to pay attention to their devices while charging them and to never use aftermarket chargers or charging cables that were not included in the original packaging.
Companies manufacturing fidget spinners are being instructed to review the CPSC Guidance to review the mandatory safety standards if the products are being marketed to children. Under CPSC guidelines, manufacturers marketing fidget spinners to children under 12 years of age are required to meet standards including limits of phthalates, lead content, and the U.S. Toy Standard, ASTM F963-16.
The CPSC is encouraging consumers to visit the Fidget Spinner Safety Education Center online at www.SaferProducts.gov to review additional safety tips and to report safety incidents related to fidget spinners.