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Fidget spinners catching fire prompts warning from United States government

12 August 2017

Those popular spinners have small weights that spin around in a person's hand.

A safety warning has been issued about fidget spinners, the tiny toy which has become a worldwide phenomenon. They present a choking risk for small children, and the battery-powered versions have reportedly caught fire.

Fidget spinner owners should be careful when using the toy as they could potentially be a choking or fire hazard, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has warned.

The agency recommends that parents keep fidget spinners away from children under the age of 3. That's a consumer product warning so typical that it's nearly meaningless. Choking incidents involving children up to age 14 have been reported.

Fidget spinners are supposed to be calming and fun, especially for students struggling to focus.

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Always use the cable that came with the fidget spinner for charging. Their merits as a therapeutic device remain up for debate, and many schools have banned them from classrooms because they cause a distraction.

"If a fidget spinner is marketed and is primarily intended for children 12 years of age and younger, companies must certify that their product meets toy safety and other standards, including limits for phthalates, lead content, and lead in paint, if applicable, and the U.S Toy Standard, ASTM F963-16", Buerkle said in her statement. And don't charge it overnight while you're sleeping!

The agency also issued safety guidance on battery-operated fidget spinners.

CPSC business requirements and guidelines for fidget spinners are available in our Business Education Center. The CPSC advises that these batteries are never left charging unsupervised, should be unplugged as soon as the battery is charged, and that charging cable choice is very important (if the spinner shipped with a cable, use it!).

Fidget spinners catching fire prompts warning from United States government