Dangerous ‘bladed’ fidget spinners which could cause severe damage and even puncture children’s eyes and skin can be found for sale on eBay.
The popular gadget has become the latest craze to sweep the nation with school playgrounds full of children using the pocket-sized toy.
But an investigation discovered a number of the gadgets have been so poorly made that they failed basic toy standards tests, reports Daily Mail.
Blades expert, Professor Sarah Hainsworth, told BBC’s Watchdog, which aired last night, that she carried out tests on three spinners found on eBay.
She said she found the spinners were able to puncture a tomato – used as a substitute eye – and pork skin, used as human skin.
Professor Hainsworth judged all three of the gadgets to be dangerous.
She told the show: ‘We took these spinners and we looked at the sharpness of the points on them.
‘We stabbed them into two different materials. We stabbed them into tomatoes which is a relatively soft material which mimics the strength of an eyeball, for example.
‘We found that for all three of the spinners you can stab a tomato using very moderate force. This could potentially a very significant injury to the eye.
‘We also wanted to see if they could damage the skin and we used pork skin which is an analogue for human skin.
‘We found that for two of the spinners we could stab into the skin. It demonstrated to us that they are capable of creating injury.’
When asked about the dangerous fidget spinners, eBay said: ‘These items are absolutely not permitted and will be immediately removed.
‘We’d like to thank the programme for bringing these items to our attention.’
A spokesman said: ‘Always buy from a reputable seller – and don’t buy these toys for children under three as they have small parts that could present a choke hazard to children.’
Safety tips for parents and carers:
- These products are not suitable for children under three years of age, they contain small parts that can pose a choking hazard to young children. Infants and toddlers are particularly at risk from toys with small parts that break away, because they have not yet fully developed their natural gagging reflex. Always be mindful to give your children age appropriate toys;
- Be mindful of the design of the product and steer clear of any that have sharp edges or points that may pose a laceration or puncture risk;
- For any products that contain button batteries ensure that they have a secure battery compartment that either –
requires a screwdriver to open the battery compartment, are secured with a child-resistant locking mechanism, or require two independent and simultaneous movements to access.
- Any products containing button batteries that are fully enclosed within the product should be robust enough to be dropped without breaking. Button batteries are very hazardous and can kill a child if ingested;
- Always follow any usage instructions carefully;
- And nothing replaces close supervision from parents and carers.
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