A safety investigation has been launched into the novelty items ‘fidget spinners’ following reports of injuries and concerns about some models which contain button batteries.
Among the injury reports are an 11 year old boy in Victoria who suffered a serious eye injury from a model with sharp edges and a ten year old girl in the United States who swallowed one of the small parts.
Product safety officers at Consumer Protection are currently in contact with a Wangara-based supplier who has voluntarily agreed to recall a ‘fidget spinner’ and a Geraldton retailer has ceased to sell the items but has already sold 141 units.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection said the ‘fidget spinners’ are popular items that can also be bought on the internet, so parents should be aware of the dangers.
“The main issues under consideration is that these fidget spinners have small parts and, more concerning in some cases, appear to contain button batteries that can in some cases easily be dislodged presenting the risk of serious injury or even death for young children if swallowed,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Consumers are reporting that the batteries come out if the item is dropped and so too do small parts that make up the units which can pose a choking hazard.
“Although the novelty items are not recommended for children under the age of three, they can easily be accessed by young children in the home.
“We are also assessing the different designs available, such as stars and blade like spinners that appear to be growing in popularity. This is to assess any laceration or puncture risks that may be present due to their specific design.
“Throughout the assessment process, Consumer Protection will be working closely with the ACCC and other product safety regulators to ensure a consistent national approach to this issue.”
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 –
1. requires a screwdriver to open the battery compartment,
2. are secured with a child-resistant locking mechanism, or
3. 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
Consumers who have bought the LED version of ‘fidget spinners’ from the Under the Sun store in Geraldton should dispose of the item or return it to the store for a refund. Injuries or safety incidents regarding this product should be reported to Consumer Protection by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.