Fidget Spinners Are Catching Fire, Choking Children

Henrietta Brewer
August 13, 2017

The fires involved Bluetooth-enabled fidget spinners that connect to a smartphone and play music while they spin, but need to be charged.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a fidget spinner safety guidance to help consumers understand the ways in which the product can be harmful.

Consumers should be present when products with batteries are charging. If their recommendations on the obsolescing toy seem uninspired, well, we've been here before.

In its Fidget Spinner Education Center, the agency further warns consumers to keep fidget spinners away from children younger than three. As for the battery precautions, the safest option is simply to pick a fidget spinner without a battery. You can imagine the eyeroll that accompanied the writing of that sentence.

Read the full statement from CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle on fidget spinner safety.

While the CPSC notes that choking hazards also apply to battery-operated fidget spinners, users should be aware of fire risks, too.

Following several incidents in which it became increasingly clear that toys-of-the-moment fidget spinners weren't just exploding in popularity, but actually exploding, federal safety regulators have issued a safety alert aimed at reducing the potential for injuries and fire hazards associated with the gadgets. There was one notable choking incident in May that resulted in a 10-year-old having to get surgery to remove part of a spinner.

But most fidget spinners are considered general-use products, the commission's business guidance said, so they aren't intended primarily for children - and they don't have to meet those standards. Users should unplug their spinner immediately once it's fully charged and make sure they have working smoke detectors in their home. It also says children should keep them out of their mouths and avoid charging them overnight while sleeping.

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