Although fidget spinners look like harmless, modestly equipped toys, they have internal parts and some include high-tech, chargeable lithium-ion batteries and other features that can cause serious injuries to kids. Federal safety regulators have issued safety alerts for fidget spinners due to numerous complaints of choking hazards, fires, and explosions. Since fidget spinners hit the market, there have been numerous cases of them smoking and bursting into flames while recharging and pieces breaking off or coming apart and creating a choking hazard.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating the safety of fidget spinners. To prevent accidents and injuries the CPSC has issued safety tips to consumers to help reduce fires and explosions and choking hazards for small children.

Fidget Spinners Pose Burn Risks

Like many products powered by lithium-ion batteries, fidget spinners have the potential to catch on fire if the battery malfunctions. Most reported fires and explosions have occurred while the toy’s battery was charging, but fires and explosions may also occur when the spinner is in use. Children who play with fidget spinners should keep them away from their faces in case sudden fires or explosions occur. CPSC recommends the following safety tips to reduce fire risks. People should:

  • Never leave charging batteries unattended
  • Unplug the fidget spinner after it is fully charged or after one hour
  • Use the cable that came with the fidget spinner for charging
  • Have a working smoke alarm and fire extinguisher in the house

Choking Hazards

According to the CPSC, fidget spinners should be kept away from children under three years old because they have plastic and metal parts that can break into small pieces, creating choking hazards. Choking injuries have occurred in children up to 14 years of age, so all children should be warned of the potential dangers of small parts in fidget spinners. Additionally, many fidget spinners that light up while in use contain small button lithium-ion batteries that can be easily swallowed, resulting in severe burns to the esophagus.

In addition to taking the above precautions, the CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers report any safety concerns, accidents, and injuries to the agency to help them stay on top of fidget spinner dangers.