Hundreds of fidget spinners have been pulled from shops and stalls after safety concerns were raised by local council trading standards officers.
Officials from Bath and North East Somerset Council have released a warning to parents and toy suppliers across the UK, following the withdrawal of 300 spinners that contained small parts that could easily detach and become a choking hazard.
Some also featured a blade with sharp pointed edges, and newer models had LED flashing lights powered by lithium-ion batteries which, if swallowed, can cause internal bleeding.
Councillor Martin Veal, cabinet member for community services, said in a statement: “Our Trading Standards Officers have been looking at some of the spinners on sale and found them to have very small and dangerous parts, so for public safety it’s only right that they be withdrawn from sale.”
He warned parents: “Anyone buying a fidget spinner should purchase it from a reputable trader and ensure the safety warnings can be clearly seen on the packaging.”
The officers found some fidget spinners’ package contained no safety information or minimum age restrictions, nor were there any name or address details for the manufacturer.
This is a problem, because in the event they need to swiftly remove them from sale, they would not be able to trace them back to their source.
The plastic toys were originally designed to improve fine motor skills, as well as decrease stress and improve concentration.
But newer models have started to include lights powered by the lithium-ion batteries, which The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) recently told HuffPost UK, could cause serious internal injury if accidentally ingested.
“Toddlers are hugely curious and love to explore,” said Katrina Phillips, CAPT’s chief executive. “But if they swallow a button battery and it gets stuck in their throat, the battery’s energy can react with bodily fluids to create caustic soda.
“This can burn a hole through the throat and cause serious internal bleeding or even death.”
If you suspect your child has swallowed a battery, parents are advised to:
- Take them straight to the A&E department at your local hospital.
- Tell the doctor there that you think your child has swallowed a button battery.
- If you have the battery packaging or the product powered by the battery, take it with you. This will help the doctor identify the type of battery and make treatment easier.
- Do not let your child eat or drink.
- Do not make them sick.
- Trust your instincts and act fast.
If you have concerns about a fidget spinner you have bought, or a retailer selling them, contact the Citizen Advice Bureau on 03454 040506.