Although they’ve been marketed as a calming device to combat anxiety, fidget spinners have become more of a plaything as opposed to a stress reliever for those diagnosed with attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities, and autism. But, be forewarned, the rolling, rubbing, clicking, spinning, and flipping mechanism that currently has all the kids entranced can come at a great cost—a dangerous one at at that.
And Boston-based consumer watchdog group World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) is making sure parents are aware of just how life-threatening the popular summer toy could be. On Wednesday, June 21, the group released its summer safety report, putting fidget spinners at the very top of the hazardous list, along with hoverboards, baby pools, bounce houses, high-powered water guns, scooters, and the most perilous toy of them all, sharp-edged swords.
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According to W.A.T.C.H., the threat lies in the dismantling of the fidget spinner. If the spinners fall apart and a young child consumes the small individual parts, they could choke. Thinking this may be a bit of a stretch? Think again. Many schools have already started banning the toy from classrooms due to it causing distractions and the fact that it can easily be disassembled. Not to mention, there are already several reports of children choking. Case in point: the Texas mom who issued a public service announcement back in May 2017 after her 10-year-old daughter ingested one of the pieces, which obstructed her esophagus and resulted in a major surgery. And there was also the Georgia grandmother who reported a similar incident, only her grandson didn’t consume the metal parts when the spinner came apart.
In that same report, W.A.T.C.H. president Joan Siff included this statement:
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe simply because it is popular,” Siff noted. “Remind all the kids in your life, ideally before you steal their fidget spinners to play with yourself. Safety first!
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Take heed to be on the safe side. Depending on the manufacturer, most fidget spinners come with a specific set of instructions and age restrictions you should be mindful of when purchasing.