While the meteoric rise of fidget spinners as a must-have toy has eased since they burst onto the scene a few months ago, they remain quite popular.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, is now warning that the products might not be suitable for everyone. They present a choking risk for small children, and the battery-powered versions have reportedly caught fire. “Like any battery-operated product, consumers should be present and pay attention to their devices while charging them,” CPSC Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle said in a statement.
In its Fidget Spinner Education Center, the agency further warns consumers to keep fidget spinners away from children younger than three. It also says children should keep them out of their mouths and avoid charging them overnight while sleeping.
The CPSC reports that there have been reports of children as old as 14 experiencing choking incidents with fidget spinners. Last week, an 11-year-old boy spent 16 hours in two different hospitals trying to have a fidget spinner removed from his finger.
If you or your child has had a dangerous experience with a fidget spinner, you can report it at SaferProducts.gov.
Originally used to help calm people with autism or sensory issues, fidget spinners were adopted by all kinds of children (and some adults) last spring. Their merits as a therapeutic device remain up for debate, and many schools have banned them from classrooms because they cause a distraction.