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Do fidget spinners present safety hazards?

If you're the parent of a child from toddler age through the teen years, you are likely familiar with the fidget spinner craze. The colorful gizmos have so many kids enthralled with their rotating motions that many school districts have banned them from classes.

But is that the only downside for this latest toy gadget craze? Definitely not, according to one consumer watchdog group, World Against Toys Causing Harm. Listing them as one of 10 top "summer safety traps," earlier this summer the group published a report to warn parents how dangerous the innocuous devices can be.

In the released report, the director of the consumer group said the spinners "have the potential to lead to tragic or deadly consequences." He urged parents not to be "lulled into a false sense of security" about the toys' safety based on their popularity.

Fidget spinners present choking hazards

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been choking incidents from kids' use of these toys. In at least one case, a child choked on a metal bearing and had to have it surgically removed.

Other parents report that pieces have broken off of the spinners and caused their kids to choke on them.

What is their purpose?

The devices have been marketed as tools to decrease stress in those who suffer from some autism-spectrum disorders (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention-deficit disorder (ADD).

Yet one clinical psychologist with the Child Mind Institute's ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center said in an interview with The Washington Post, "The claims [about] fidget spinners helping with . . . anxiety or stress management or ADHD . . . are dangerous."

He notes the dearth of scientific evidence in support of the claims together with how use of the devices negates discussions of interventions with proven track records for effectiveness.

The company that sells the fidget spinners, Learning Express Toys, markets them to those 12 and older. Their website states "CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 years."

Despite this, problems continue to emerge. If your child experienced an injury from using a fidget spinner, you may potentially be able to recover damages from the sales company or the design manufacturers.

Source: The Washington Post, "Fidget spinners are hugely popular with kids. They're also a choking hazard, consumer group warns.," Lindsey Bever, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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