Safety concerns raised over popular ‘fidget spinners’

Safety concerns raised over popular ‘fidget spinners’

CONSUMER Protection WA has launched a safety investigation into the popular novelty item ‘fidget spinners’.

There have been reports of injuries to children, including a serious eye injury to an 11-year-old boy in Victoria, from a model with sharp edge.

In the US, meanwhile, a 10-year-old girl is reported to have swallowed one of the small parts.

Product safety officers at Consumer Protection are in contact with a Wangara-based supplier who has voluntarily agreed to recall a ‘fidget spinner’.

A Geraldton retailer has ceased to sell the items but has already sold 141 units.

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said ‘fidget spinners’ 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.

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 consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

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