Fid­get spin can be fa­tal

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - STREET WATCH -

with Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hill­yard IF you’re a par­ent or carer, it’s highly likely you’ve heard all about, or seen too much of, ‘fid­get spin­ners’.

For any­one who isn’t sure what they are, the small de­vices have a cir­cle in the cen­tre and ei­ther two or three outer points you spin while hold­ing the mid­dle.

Our con­cern is that there are some prod­uct safety is­sues which we and other con­sumer pro­tec­tion reg­u­la­tors across Aus­tralia are cur­rently look­ing into.

Some ‘fid­get spin­ners’ have but­ton bat­ter­ies to make them light up. Flash­ing coloured LEDs might be en­tic­ing but as with any but­ton-bat­tery pow­ered prod­uct, the bat­ter­ies must be se­cure – with a screw or lock­ing mech­a­nism keep­ing them in the com­part­ment – to pre­vent chil­dren ac­cess­ing and po­ten­tially swal­low­ing them. If in­gested, a but­ton bat­tery can cause se­ri­ous in­ter­nal in­juries or kill.

Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion WA’s prod­uct safety of­fi­cers or­gan­ised a vol­un­tary re­call, by Wan­garabased sup­plier Ace of Hearts, of a light-up ‘fid­get spin­ner’ be­cause the but­ton bat­ter­ies fell out when it was dropped. A Ger­ald­ton re­tailer called Under the Sun sold 141 units be­tween May 15 and 18 be­fore we in­ter­vened and got them to stop sell­ing them.

An­other is­sue with ‘fid­get spin­ners’ is that there are some de­signs in the shape of stars or with edges that are blade-like. These ‘fid­get spin­ners’ can punc­ture or lac­er­ate skin.

An 11-year-old-boy in Vic­to­ria suf­fered a se­ri­ous eye in­jury from a model with sharp edges.

A fur­ther gen­eral prob­lem with ‘fid­get spin­ners’ is the small parts, which pose a chok­ing haz­ard to young chil­dren. Although ‘fid­get spin­ners’ are not rec­om­mended for chil­dren under three, in­fants and tod­dlers, who are more at risk of chok­ing on small parts be­cause they’re yet to develop a gag­ging re­flex, may get hold of a ‘fid­get spin­ner’that be­longs to an older si­b­ling.

Par­ents and car­ers should be on the watch for these is­sues.

In­juries or safety in­ci­dents re­gard­ing fid­get spin­ners should be re­ported to Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion by email con­sumer@com­merce. or by call­ing 1300 30 40 54.

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