Fidget spinners have been lauded for their “therapeutic” effects, but a consumer watchdog group is warning parents that the viral gadget is one of the most dangerous toys of the summer.
World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), a Boston-based nonprofit, released its summer safety report on Wednesday, and it targets the popular, twirling toys.
Just because a toy is popular doesn’t mean that it’s safe, said Joan Siff, president of W.A.T.C.H., who unveiled the report at a news conference at Franciscan Children’s Hospital on Wednesday.
And as school lets out for the summer, families need to be aware of the potential for toy-related injuries increases, according to the group.
Fidget spinners have been a presence in school classrooms, but their popularity doesn’t look to dwindle as summer approaches. The gadgets have already caused multiple injuries, raising safety concerns, according to W.A.T.C.H.
In one recent case, a 10-year-old in Texas needed surgery after swallowing one of her fidget spinner’s bearings, which became lodged in her esophagus.
Another child in Oregon also choked on a piece of a fidget spinner and underwent surgery to have it removed.
Also on the list as potential summer hazards are hoverboards, which have been linked to fires — and, in March, to the death of a 3-year-old whose home ignited from a charging hoverboard.
“It is a tragedy when a child dies but when that death could have been prevented it’s inexcusable,” Siff said. “The on-going injuries and deaths associated with hoverboards continue to be a wake-up call that products should be tested before they reach consumers and not tested on consumers.”
Nonmotorized scooters are a danger, too, and have sent more than 45,000 kids under 15 years old to the hospital in 2015 alone, according to W.A.T.C.H.
The group also reminded families to be aware of water safety for summer activities like pool or beach trips and of the potential for injuries from backyard trampolines. See the full report here.