As a mom (or a human), you may have already heard about the latest craze amongst our kids – Fidget spinners.
Which started out as a stress-relieving toy for people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting, has quickly spiraled into the new must-have among peers worldwide. The spinning toy has become popular so fast, parents have not yet had the chance to wrap their heads around or make sense of it and safety precautions have barely been communicated about the use of the fidget spinner as a regular toy.
Unfortunately, in its short life, there’s already been reports of kids choking and other injuries caused by the spinners. Although it’s not a cause for panic and I wouldn’t go as far as to demand kids dispose of their fidget spinners just yet, it never hurts to be safe. Kids really are just kids and they love to explore.
Which is exactly why the over-protective mom in me, who have already promised her kids a fidget if they behave (Guilty!), wanted to find out how to keep my kids safe around these seemingly harmless gadgets.
Here are the four guidelines the Toy Association says parents should keep in mind when it comes to fidget spinner safety:
Follow Age Labels
Make sure fidget spinners are age-appropriate. Always follow age labeling, and if the spinner does not have age guidance on its packaging, don’t buy it. Never give children under three years of age (or those who still put toys in their mouths) any items, such as fidget spinners, that have small parts. Children who are old enough to play with fidget spinners should be taught how to play with them correctly—and instructed never to put them in their mouths.
Shop at Reputable Retailers
Shop at a reputable retailer that you know and trust. Those retailers will be selling products that have been tested and comply with strict U.S. safety standards. When a craze like the fidget spinners hits, you may be tempted to buy one for your child wherever you can find one (like at a pop-up vendor on the street or from an unknown online seller), but the safety of products sold outside a reputable retailer cannot be guaranteed.
Tips for Light-Up Spinners
Small batteries are required to be secured so that a tool or coin is needed to access the battery compartment. Fidget spinners with a light-up feature might utilize small batteries that can be harmful if accidentally ingested. Avoid giving a child a light-up spinner if it does not also have a locking mechanism on the battery compartment.
Check for Broken Parts
Check fidget spinners periodically for damage. Broken items should be discarded and not left in a child’s environment.