The popular fidget spinners are in the news again, this time over concerns that some can catch on fire. Recently, two mothers in Michigan and Alabama “reported that their children’s Bluetooth-enabled fidget spinners burst into flames in the past few weeks.” On both occasions, the fidget spinners “were plugged into outlets, and when they caught on fire the toys melted and burned the surfaces they were sitting on.”
According to Kimberly Allums of Gardendale, Alabama, she and her son were preparing to leave home before her son’s fidget spinner caught fire. “[My son] noticed that it burst into flames and he just started screaming. I was downstairs and all I heard was ‘fire, fire’ and the fidget spinner had literally — it wasn’t smoking, it was in flames,” Allums explained to WBRC. According to the Alabama mother, “the spinner was charging for less than 45 minutes before it caught on fire.”
This latest concern comes on the heels of other worries that the popular toy might be a choking hazard. In fact, there have been so many worries and reports from parents that the World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) eventually issued warnings about the toy. In fact, in a recent statement, Joan Siff, the president of the organization, warned parents not to “be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe simply because it is popular.” The organization’s warnings aren’t unfounded, though. In fact, “children in Texas and Oregon have been taken to hospitals recently after choking on fidget spinner pieces.” One of those incidents required surgery, prompting some agencies and organizations to do away with the toy altogether. For example, earlier this year nearly 39 tons of metal and plastic fidget spinners were destroyed by German customs officials.
As for the incident that required surgery, that involved a 10-year-old girl who choked on a piece of her fidget spinner. Fortunately, the young girl recovered from the ordeal, but her mother, Kelly Rose Joniec, is working hard to “educate others on the potential dangers of the toys, which were originally intended as a gadget to relieve symptoms of ADHD and anxiety.” Her daughter’s accident occurred when she was driving with her daughter in the back seat. As a Facebook post, written by Joniec, explains, “She heard an odd retching noise in the back seat.” It turns out that her daughter “had put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it, and had swallowed the metal object.” From there, Joniec took her daughter to the nearest urgent care, where she was transported to the Texas Children’s Hospital via ambulance to determine where the spinner was lodged. Fortunately, doctors were able to safely remove the object and Joniec’s daughter recovered.
Despite the dangers, however, many believe the popularity of the fidget spinner is just another fad that will soon fade. It will be interesting to see if any other warnings are issued over the toy before the end of the year.