Safety Regulators Issue Safety Alert For Still-Popular Fidget Spinners

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A US government agency has issued a safety warning over fidget spinners, after multiple reports of the toys catching fire.

On Thursday, Ann Marie Buerkle, acting chairwoman of the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, released a statement addressing reports of "fires involving battery-operated fidget spinners" and providing guidelines for usage.

When it comes to fidget spinners and choking, the CPSC notes that the plastic and metal spinners have small pieces that can break, creating a choking hazard.

But the Consumer Product Safety Commission says small parts can come off easily, and have been implicated in choking incidents in kids up to age 14. In addition there has been a warning to parents to guard against younger children from putting the spinners into their mouths.

The fire risk is due to some fidget spinners using a rechargeable battery, which makes the spinner light up when in use, for example. In one case, a child reported their Bluetooth fidget spinner having caught fire and exploding after charging for about 40 minutes.

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, and fidget spinners are no different.

Fidget spinners provide a salutary lesson for start-ups considering the next "big invention". Their merits as a therapeutic device remain up for debate, and many schools have banned them from classrooms because they cause a distraction.

Unplug your fidget spinner immediately once it is fully charged.

Because fidget spinners are considered a general-use product for all ages (including adults), they don't have to meet the same standards that children's toys are subjected to.

Users should also not play with fidget spinners near their face.

CPSC advised that fidget spinners shouldn't be left unattended while charging, and should never be plugged in overnight.

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