The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it will be investigating fidget spinners. The agency launched an inquiry after two separate cases of children swallowing parts of the toy gained national attention.
For the past several months, Learning Express Toys’ spinners have held the top spots among Amazon.com’s popular toy list. Available anywhere from $5-$10, this affordable toy with flat blades was available at grocery stores and big box stores as well as online retailers, often selling out.
To date, two children have swallowed parts after putting the toys in their mouths. One child was located in Texas, the other in Oregon. The ten year old in Texas required surgery to remove the part of the toy she had swallowed. While the toys do carry a warning stating “CHOCKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not for children under 3 years”, children over the age of three have been put at risk.
In a statement released to ABC News, agency spokeswoman Patty Davis said “We advise parents to keep these away from young children because they can choke on small parts. Warn older children not to put fidget spinners in their mouths.”
Fidget spinners quickly captured both parents’ and students’ attention as a way to positively channel energy to help students focus. While the initial demand for this new toy soared, many schools began to ban fidget spinners as they became a hot commodity among students, distracting from the learning process.
While fidget spinners were marketed to help students with attention issues, they became a status symbol and students began trading them in school. Students would compete in doing tricks, not only balancing them on their fingers, but noses, and foreheads as well.
Schools across the country began banning the small toys not only because they were a distraction, but also because they could pose a safety risk.
On behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Patty Davis advised people to report any incidents with fidget spinners to the CPSC.