By now, you have seen them everywhere. You can buy them at toy stores, dollar stores, and even many gas stations and flea markets. They are called fidget spinners, and they are among the most popular toys to hit the market in recent years. Unfortunately, however, there have been reports throughout the United States and Great Britain of fidget spinners causing injuries. It seems that the trendy toy could be more dangerous than many people realize.
What Are Fidget Spinners?
In recent years, several products have become available that are designed to help individuals channel nervous energy and to soothe anxiety. Among the first such products were fidget cubes—cubes of about an inch and a half on each side with various dexterous and tactile activities on each face. A person with anxious tendencies could hold the cube in his or her hand while manipulating a switch, dial, or rollerball to ease tension and reduce fidgeting—hence the name “fidget cube.”
Fidget cubes, however, are generally not silent, as they produce clicking sounds when holders interact with them. Thus, fidget spinners soon followed as a quieter option. While they come in many designs, a fidget spinner is a symmetrical toy that resembles a martial arts throwing star. At the center is a ball bearing—similar to the bearing inside a roller skate wheel—which allows the toy to spin. Most fidget spinners have several “arms”, and each arm may contain another bearing, an LED light, or another device to make the gadgets more interesting. Some spinners are even equipped with Bluetooth speakers.
Some teachers and child development experts maintain that the toys can help improve a child’s focus by keeping his or her hands occupied during a lesson. Of course, others have found fidget spinners to be a major distraction in the classroom.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued warnings regarding the gadgets following several disturbing reports. The agency said that while no deaths have been reported, there have been several choking incidents—usually the bearing or other pieces that could break loose—and at least two reports of battery-powered spinners catching fire. The CPSC also reported that at least one spinner melted when the charging and battery system malfunctioned. Some of the choking victims were as old as 14, so it was not simply a matter of small children playing with a toy they should not have touched.
Even more concerning are the spinners that are designed to have the appearance of blades. Several such models—labeled as toys and intended for children—were sold on eBay and tested by experts. The test results showed that a number of these toys were strong enough to cut a person’s eye and others could pierce the skin.
The CPSC is asking parents to take precautions when using or charging fidget spinners and to keep them away from children under 3. Retailers are also being encouraged to ensure that any spinners sold as toys are compliant with all relevant safety regulations.
Seek Help Today
If you or your child has been injured while playing with a poorly designed fidget spinner, the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer could be held liable for your child’s injuries. Contact an experienced San Jose personal injury attorney to discuss your options. Call 408-293-7777 for a free consultation today.
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