Fidget spinners named one of the most dangerous products in the EU
The fidget spinner was the unexpected toy craze of 2017, with kids and adults alike obsessively spinning their softly-whirring gizmos.
But they may well be the victim of their own success after being named in the EU’s annual rapid alert report. The alert system, which is used by member states’ national authorities to help quickly identify and eradicate dangerous products from the market, outlines the danger that fidget spinners pose to children’s safety.
In 2017, there were eleven different models of fidget spinner that were flagged and swiftly taken off the market. The EU Commission specifically identifies light-up fidget spinners which contain easily removable button batteries. If the battery in these fidget spinners are swallowed, the report reads that they could “cause burns to the esophagus and intestines”. The central cover can be easily detached, which could also cause choking if ingested.
“A number of concerns have been raised due to accidents involving small children, who have either swallowed broken parts of the toy or ingested button batteries,” the report reads. “Consequently, dangerous fidget spinners have been tracked down, stopped at borders and ports, or destroyed.”
While the latter sounds like the plot to an espionage film, the EU rapid alert system actually managed to stop the distribution of 201 dangerous products in the whole of 2017. Toys took the top spot at 29%, with motor vehicles following closely behind, accounting for 20%.
Other dangerous products which made the list includeelectrical appliances, clothing and children’s equipment, like dangerous dummies. The report highlights that non-EU countries are making product regulation more difficult, with consumers buying products that don’t meet safety standards online.
Fidget spinners have been claimed to help concentration and reduce anxiety, but none of this has been scientifically proven. In any case, the EU’s proclamation might kill off the spinner for good – but at least they can still be enjoyed in space.