Fidget spinners may be the single hottest toy of 2017. A seemingly simple product, this toy took the nation by storm, popping up everywhere without a mass marketing campaign or any type of major corporate push. Fidget spinners first got major attention in February of 2017, after being showcased at the North American International Toy Fair. Just a few months later, Florida Today newspaper estimated that more than a million had already been sold.
Now, there are serious questions being raised about the safety of these toys. Indeed, evidence suggests that many different manufacturers and retailers rushed these products to market, before proper safety testing had been completed. Some schools in Florida have banned the toys from classrooms. In this post, our experienced Florida personal injury attorneys explain the basics of fidget spinner safety regulations, and offer some basics tips for parents in Palm Beach County and Flagler and Volusia Counties to keep their children safe.
Dangerous Toy Alert: Fidget Spinner Safety Hazards
Alarmingly, there have been many different incidents in which fidget spinners have caused serious harm to children. The potential dangers of fidget spinners have been noted by some of consumer safety watchdog groups. Earlier this year, World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) placed fidget spinners on its annual list of most dangerous toys for kids. Looking at news reports from all around the United States, it is no wonder why the product safety organization came to that decision. Some notable recent cases involving fidget spinner injuries and hazards include the following:
- On May 17th, a 10-year-old girl in Houston, Texas started choking in the backseat of a car after she swallowed a small metal piece that broke off of her fidget spinner;
- Soon after, a young girl from Indiana was hospitalized after choking on a part that broke off of her fidget spinner, requiring surgery to remove the piece from her stomach;
- On May 30th, in Fenton, Michigan, a Bluetooth-enabled fidget spinner caught fire after it was charging for less than thirty minutes;
- Less than a month later, a Glendale, Arizona family told reporters that one of their fidget spinners burst into flames while it was being charged; and
- On August 4th, an 11-year-old boy had to spend nearly 16 hours in the hospital after getting his finger stuck inside of a fidget spinner.
Fidget Spinner Safety Regulations
General Toy Safety Rules
Under U.S. federal regulations, all products sold to consumers must meet certain basic safety standards. As fidget spinners are often directly marketed towards children, they are also covered by ASTM F 963-16, or as it is more commonly known, The Toy Standard. This regulation incorporates all other basic U.S. product safety regulations and includes requirements to protect young children from certain common hazards that impact vulnerable young people. Specifically, toys meant for children must be properly labelled and marketed to ensure that child under the age of 12 are protected from:
- Choking hazards;
- Sharp edges; and
- Dangers related to batteries or other electronics.
CPSC Fidget Spinner Guidance
On August 10th, 2017, after receiving multiple reports of fidget spinner-caused injuries, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released its official guidance on fidget spinner safety. This guidance clarifies the rules and regulations that apply to fidget spinner manufacturers, distributors and retailers.
All companies involved in making, marketing and selling fidget spinners have a legal duty to comply with these safety standards and make sure their products are reasonably safe. Should a company fall short of their legal duties, they can and should be held financially liable for their misconduct.
If your child was using a fidget spinner in an appropriate manner, and suffered a serious injury as a result, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim against the responsible manufacturer or retailer.
Four Fidget Spinner Safety Tips
- Pay Attention to Age Restrictions When you purchase a fidget spinner or any type of toy for your child, please be sure to take a close look at any age restrictions. Most fidget spinners are inappropriate for small children, as they have small parts that could break off and be swallowed. Small parts present a serious choking hazards. Many fidget spinners are not meant for children under the age of 12.
- Beware of Knock-off Products Fidget spinners are relatively easy to manufacture. As the product became popular in the late spring, many companies quickly put fidget spinners on the market. These types of spinners were sold both at physical retail locations and over the internet. Parents in Florida should be aware of the fact that these knock-off products can be more dangerous, as less attention may have been given to safety during the manufacturing process.
- Be Careful With Battery Operated Fidget Spinners Many fidget spinners come with small batteries to power the LED lights built into the product. It is important that parents take extra care when dealing with battery-operated products. Not only are batteries extremely harmful if ingested, but defective batteries can sometimes cause burn injuries.
- Always Check for Broken Parts It is a good practice to inspect your child’s toys every so often. The last thing you want is your young children to be playing with a product that has a broken part. Further, you should always take a close look at any small parts that are at risk of breaking off. Small pieces and parts are a serious choking hazard for young children.
Get Help From Our Palm Coast Personal Injury Attorneys Today
At Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, our Florida personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling product liability claims. If your child wa injured using a fidget spinner, please do not hesitate to contact our legal team today to schedule a free, no obligation review of your case. We have offices in Palm Coast and Ormond Beach, and we represent families throughout Flagler and Volusia counties.