May 19, 2017

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.

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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.

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“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 –
    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.

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.

This week a mother in the US state of Texas is urgently warning parents over the dangers of Fidget Spinners after her 10-year-old daughter required emergency surgery. Read more on that HERE.

Share your comments below.

Image via Dept Commerce WA

5


  • Thank you for this concerning and important update.

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  • It’s all about awareness and common sense. These have taken off so quickly I think we’ve all been caught a little off guard.

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  • Believe a few children have found out that they are very useful as knuckle dusters. Beware, only a matter of time before they are used in the next home invasion in Melbourne.

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  • i hope that this doesn’t affect the availability for the children that actually would use and find the fidget spinner helpful for their sensory needs.

    All these companies are just in it to make a quick $$ by riding the coat tails of popularity and then this happens because everything is rushed to get it into the market without proper product testing and scrutiny

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  • These were originally designed for children lacking sensory skills and those with autism. This one is also a different appearance to those originally shown. I wasn’t aware that trhey had batteries in them. Do all designs have batteries in them. Some have a hollow centre.

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  • Another fad without enough testing beforehand.

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  • Hope that the craziness about these fidget spinners reduces and recalls and warnings can be helpful for that ;) Fidget spinners with button batteries are a big no for me as my 3 year old with Down syndrome is very oral and eats all kind of non-edible items. Too scary !

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  • My 13 year old has to carry a heavy duty magnet after 2 of his fell apart dropping the little balls

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  • So scary as there so popular. I think button batteries should be banned in anything child related. There bad enough in remotes etc but geeze that close and especially with the parts that fall out from the spinner makes it even more dangerous.

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  • I just don’t get the obsession with these-thankfully none of my 4 Primary school aged children are interested in them.

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  • This will be huge recall. Someone gave them to my kids and they fell apart in a day.

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  • These are sounding more and more dangerous.

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  • I am so over hearing about these things.

    Reply

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