CRPC warns that fidget spinners with button cell batteries can be dangerous

Consumer Rights Protection Centre (hereinafter referred to as CRPC) carrying out the inspection (tested) of fidget spinner with LED lights (identification NO:2701), has found that it does not meet the essential safety requirements, namely, the parts of the battery compartment can be easily removed and opened from the toy, and button cell batteries can become easy accessible for the children.

CRPC has inspected 6403 fidget spinners regarding the requests form Customs Service of the State Revenue Service. As a result of inspections in 2017 1,550 fidget spinners were banned for release for free circulation (prohibited to be imported), because found as non – compliant to the essential safety requirements (the product is unidentifiable, relevance to safety requirements have not been proven) and 480 fidget spinners have been established as unsafe (the parts of the battery compartment can be easily removed  and opened from the toy, thereby button cell batteries become easy accessible and accidentally swallowed may cause serious damage to the digestive tract, stomach, intestines and central circulatory system).

According to statistics from Children's Clinical University Hospital in 2015 and 2016 there have been admitted 139 children with foreign bodies in digestive system, 57 children with foreign bodies in respiratory system and in 59 cases foreign bodies have got into eyes or ears, of all cases 11% of foreign bodies have been batteries. Also, in the first five months of this year, 5,66% of all foreign bodies have been batteries.

The swallowing of the button batteries is extremely dangerous, as it quickly decomposes and, within two hours, can cause irreversible damage to organs, not only in the digestive tract, but also in the trachea, respiratory tract and central circulatory system, and, if the damage affects other systems, it is fatal 80-90% of cases. The chemicals in the batteries literally "burn" the tissues, causing mucus oedema and very complicated organ damage.

Having regard of the above, the CRPC would like to encourage the consumers to make sure that they do not have fidget spinners, which have easy accessible battery compartments and, accordingly, batteries. If the battery compartment is easy to open, we encourage you to stop using such products and dispose the batteries in a safe way (for example, discard them at the battery disposal point). We draw attention to the fact that the battery compartment must be tightly closed so that the child cannot access the batteries it contains. The battery compartment cover must be closed in a way that it can be opened only with the instrument or two different movements.

At the same time, CRPC invites not to buy toys of unknown origin, including fidget spinners. Toys must be safe for children to play with. Ensuring that toys marketed in the EU do not put children at risk is a priority. More about toy safety in EU can be found in Brochure issued by European Commission.

More about unsafe goods found in Europe, including fidget spinners, can be found in the RAPEX database.

 

Additional information:
Sanita Gertmane,
Consumer information and Communications Division
sanita.gertmane@ptac.gov.lv 
67388622, 26544528