A fidget spinner safety warning’s been issued by the US Government, following numerous reports of examples catching alight.
Released by the US CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), the safety warning concerns battery-operated versions of the wildly-popular device. Bluetooth-enabled, these particular fidget spinners link up with smartphones and play music as they rotate. Charging is required, in between uses.
‘Fidget spinners can be fun to use but consumers and companies should be aware of some of the safety concerns associated with this product’, the commission writes.
Fidget Spinner Fires
Examples of recent fidget spinner safety incidents abound. Two months ago, in Alabama, one such fidget spinner was plugged in as normal. Around 45 minutes into its charge, it suddenly caught fire. There were no casualties, although minimal property damage did occur.
The previous month had seen another fidget spinner incident, this time in Michigan. It’s understood that, on this occasion, the family concerned had used a third-party charger, not having been supplied with an ‘original’ one.
Safe Spinner Use
The CPSC has published guidance on how to safely use these Bluetooth fidget spinners.
- Staying with them while they charge
- Never carrying out an overnight charge
- Using only the supplied cable for charging purposes, or a dimensionally-matched alternative
- Unplugging the fidget spinner the moment it’s fully charged.
- Ensuring the home’s smoke alarms are working properly
There’s also the risk of young children choking on smaller, metal or plastic, spinner components, the commission added. Noting that even teenagers have choked on them, it sets out a minimum age of three for safe fidget spinner use.
“Companies should review the CPSC’s guidance on fidget spinners”, urges acting CPSC chairman Ann Marie Buerkle in a lengthy online statement. “If a fidget spinner is marketed and is primarily intended for children 12 years of age and younger, companies must certify that their product meets toy safety and other standards, including limits for phthalates, lead content, and lead in paint, if applicable, and the U.S Toy Standard, ASTM F963-16.
I encourage consumers to visit our Fidget Spinner Safety Education Center with additional safety tips and to report safety incidents with fidget spinners to CPSC at https://www.saferproducts.gov/ to help our agency stay on top of this emerging hazard.”
Fidget spinner-type toys have been available for some years but it’s only in more recent months that they’ve really surged in popularity. Although scientifically unproven, that they provide relief to children and adults on the autistic spectrum is borne out by countless first-hand reports.