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Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard has issued a warning to parents after numerous concerns have been raised over the safety of fidget spinners.

Mr Hillyard has said, ‘Fidget spinners’ have been promoted as products designed to relieve stress. Our concern is that there are some product safety issues, which we and other consumer protection regulators across Australia are currently looking into.

Some ‘fidget spinners’ have button batteries to make them light up. Flashing coloured LEDs might be enticing but as with any button-battery powered product, the batteries must be secure – with a screw or locking mechanism keeping them in the compartment – to prevent children accessing and potentially swallowing them. If ingested, a button battery can cause serious internal injuries or kill!

Button batteries burn through soft tissue in just a couple of hours and there are videos readily available online showing this shocking process on pieces of ham. Stories about Australian children who have died or been left permanently disabled after ingesting button batteries are at www.productsafety.gov.au.

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Consumer Protection WA’s product safety officers organised a voluntary recall, by Wangara-based supplier Ace of Hearts, of a light up ‘fidget spinner’ because the button batteries fell out when it was dropped. A Geraldton retailer called Under the Sun sold 141 units between 15 and 18th of May before we intervened and got them to stop selling them. People who bought those have since been advised to dispose of the item or return it to the store for a refund.

Another issue with ‘fidget spinners’ is that there are some designs in the shape of stars or with edges that are blade-like. These ‘fidget spinners’ can puncture or lacerate skin. An 11-year-old-boy in Victoria suffered a serious eye injury from a model with sharp edges.

A further general problem with ‘fidget spinners’ is the small parts, which pose a choking hazard to young children. For example, a ten year old girl in the United States swallowed one of the small parts and it became stuck in her oesophagus. Although ‘fidget spinners’ are not recommended for children under three, infants and toddlers, who are more at risk of choking on small parts because they’re yet to develop a gagging reflex, may get hold of a ‘fidget spinner’ that belongs to an older sibling. Parents and carers should be on the watch for these issues.

They are not designed to be a trick toy though!

There is a warning going around Facebook at the moment from a dad in the US.

He shared the caption alongside images of his injured child, “I know this post isn’t gonna be easy for some to look at, but I felt it necessary.

This was caused from playing with a fidget spinner and compressed air (air compressor) spraying across it. I was holding the spinner and the air hose when it happened. We had been playing with it for a while and all of a sudden the plastic on the fidget spinner exploded. We are at the ER now waiting to have stitches. I am sharing so no one else has the same stupid idea that I had. We were lucky it missed his eyes. It could have been much worse.”

The images are quite graphic so I won’t include the whole post. His post has gone viral with over 270,000 shares.

The poor little boy had 30 stitches to repair his split lip.

I am sorry but that is a really dangerous thing to do! Why has the true purpose of the fidget toy been totally lost in a fad of silly, dangerous tricks?

Earlier this week we shared that a young Sydney boy ended up in hospital after swallowing a loose part of his fidget spinner. HOW?! How does that happen?

Another young boy in Melbourne injured his eye trying to do tricks with his spinner.

The purpose of the toy was not so people could try to perform tricks and outdo each other. No wonder so many children are being injured.

One ad on TV at the moment is promoting them as a “finger spinner”. Ummm NO!. That is not what they are meant to be used for though.

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  • these things are dangerous and i have heard quite a few stories of people being injured while playing with these

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  • I hope if any are genuinely dangerous made by a a manufacturer that they will be recalled voluntarily. These were not intended as a mainstream toy. They were designed for those with sensory issues.

    Reply

  • Personally I think any toy that is not used properly can cause harm.
    When we don’t use a bike properly, dangerous accidents can happen, yet we don’t take the bike of the market. Same should be true here. That some parents join in dangerous games with the fidget spinner is of course not such good example.

    Reply

  • I think a lot of schools are banning them now, which should help calm it down.

    Reply

  • They just seem like a bit of a fad to me.

    Reply

  • I agree. It can’t be so difficult to use it properly!

    Reply

  • If people can’t be responsible with toys like this they shouldn’t even have kids! A bit of common sense is all thats needed.

    Reply

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