FDA Advisory No. 2017-290
Public Health Warning Against the Use and Purchase of Toy and Childcare Article (TCCAs) Products which are Hazardous to Health (Batch 2)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public against the purchase and use of Toy and Childcare Article (TCCAs) Products which are hazardous to health.
Fidget spinners are stress-relieving toys advertised as a way to help people focus. They are touted as a breakthrough for children with ADHD, autism, anxiety, and stress (Patel, 2017). However, there has been no research into the efficacy or safety of these toys. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is actually investigating them over concerns about choking incidents. One report said that a 10-year old girl (Britton Janiec) in Texas accidentally dislodged one of the toy’s bearings which got stuck in her esophagus, later requiring surgery for removal. A similar incident also happened to a 5-year old boy in Oregon (Pelletiere, 2017).
The Australian Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety have already launched an investigation following reports of injuries about some models which contain button batteries. According to Mr. David Hillyard, Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection in Australia, the main issues under consideration is that these fidget spinners have small parts and, more concerning in some cases, appear to contain button batteries that can in some cases easily be dislodged presenting the risk of serious injury or even death for young children if swallowed.
Many of the toy’s suppliers and retailers have voluntarily pulled out and ceased distribution of the product to the market. (Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, 2017)
In Ireland, they've recalled 200,000 for safety review and some were already found to be non-compliant with the country’s consumer legislation. (Duffy, 2017)
Because of these incidents, EcoWaste Coalition, a non-government organization in the Philippines, warned the public of the potential hazards of fidget spinners. According to Thony Dizon, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coaltion, only one company has market authorization for these spinners in the country which is alarming considering that these toys can be easily bought in sidewalks, malls, and even online for as low as 20 pesos. (Sabillo, 2017)
Consumers are advised to report if they experience unfortunate events using the product Fidget Spinner. Reports to FDA can be made through the following channels:
a. FDA’s e-report
Reports can be sent to FDA via the e-Report section found in the upper right corner of the FDA website. By clicking e-report, another page will be shown where you will find the form that must be accomplished (refer to Images 4 and 5).
c. Contact the FDA CCRR Customer Service Hotline at (02) 857-1900