Fidget spinners are the new craze and have become extremely popular in a very short period of time. They claim to help kids and adults decrease anxiety and reduce their overall stress. While many may enjoy them, some parents are making sure that people know that fidget spinners can be dangerous and come along with several hazards that consumers need to watch out for.
Although fidget spinners are popular with adults and often marketed as great office toys, their popularity has really taken off with children. According to a major toy retailer in New York City, they have never sold a product in such high demand so quickly before.
Manufacturers make fidget spinners out of metal or plastic, and are multi-lobed, flat structures. While manufacturers say they are safe, recently there have been multiple stories of children choking on them and suffering from other injuries. So far, at least one 5-year-old boy has needed surgery to remove a piece of a fidget spinner from his chest. Another child, a 3-year-old boy, was forced to see three different doctors at an emergency care center before they were able to surgically remove a piece of a fidget spinner that had become embedded in his finger.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is getting involved and investigating consumer reports of injury, especially because choking causes far too many young deaths. So far, the agency has recommended that parents keep younger children away from fidget spinners, and instruct all kids to avoid placing them anywhere near or inside their mouths. As of now, most fidget spinners do not come with choking hazard labels. However, according to the CPSC’s regulations, any product that is marketed for use by children and poses a choking risk must be labeled as such.
Most fidget spinners do not come with age recommendations for use, and therefore manufactuers and sellers do not market them as solely children’s products. There is insufficient product labeling, as a recent statement by the World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) made clear. The nonprofit group oversees children’s toy safety, and recently it named fidget spinners as one of the top 10 most dangerous toys of the summer, calling them “safety traps” for consumers.
Similarly the Toy Association, which regulates the manufacturers of all toys made for children across the country, released a statement on fidget spinners. It warns consumers that pieces of the plastic or metal can break off and children can easily swallow them. The statement also urges parents to supervise their kids when they use fidget spinners, and to avoid purchasing poorly made fidget spinners or those without important safety labeling.
Good Housekeeping did a comprehensive safety test on fidget spinners and came back with the request for consumers to keep the products away from children under the age of 3 altogether. And, the researchers noted that it is still important to keep an eye on any older children playing with fidget spinners as well.
Because the CPSC is still investigating fidget spinners for consumer safety, you can sign up to be notified if fidget spinners, or any other products, are recalled. To do that, please click here: www.recalls.gov. It is also important to get in touch with the CPSC if you have any issue with a fidget spinner. Before using one, make sure that you read all warning labels, and ensure that there are instructions for appropriate age and product use. If you own a fidget spinner and it is broken in any way, discontinue using it immediately.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, the product liability lawyers in Philadelphia at Galfand Berger are happy to answer your questions and review your case for free. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading, and Lancaster, Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.