Popular toys come in and out of the mainstream market like waves in the ocean. Everything from Beanie Babies, Tickle Me Elmo and Pokémon toys has had their moment in the spotlight, gaining the adoration of children and the young at heart throughout the country. Some of these toys remain in the public's favor for generations, others only for a brief moment in the spotlight.
A toy that is currently enjoying its moment in the spotlight is referred to as a fidget spinner.
Not everyone is familiar with this popular toy. The toy is basically a small, palm-sized device shaped like a propeller. Users hold the device between the thumb and middle finger and send it spinning. The toys were initially marketed to children with autism and other special needs as a means to help increase concentration. The original patent has expired and toy manufacturers throughout the country have begun mass producing these spinners. The public has taken notice and responded positively, buying the toy in huge numbers. This popular response has sent many stores in a rush to fill out additional order forms, ordering additional shipments after selling out of their initial stock.
This popular toy seems harmless, arguably even beneficial, yet it has become the center of an investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Why is this toy under investigation?
The toy is the center of two separate and very serious injuries. Both cases involve children that choked on pieces of the toy, one a five year-old boy, the other a ten year-old girl.
Will the allegations rise to the level of a product defect claim?
Investigators with the CPSC are likely looking for evidence of design or manufacturing defects as well as any failure to properly warn users of potential dangers. If evidence is present, a product defect case could result.
How can I help my child avoid injury?
As noted in a recent piece by the Legal Examiner, there are many proactive steps that can help reduce the risk of injury when playing with these types of toys. Three tips for this toy include:
- Consider the child's age. This toy can work well for older children, but it is best to keep it out of the reach of the very young.
- Take a moment to teach your child. Talk to older children about the dangers of the toy. Remind them to never put any part of the device in their mouth.
- Check the product. Before letting your child play with the product, inspect it. Check for any loose parts or broken pieces.
Although these steps do not guarantee avoidance of injury, they do help to reduce the risk.
What if my child is injured?
Anyone that suffers an injury from a product is wise to seek legal counsel. The product may have a defect. If a defect is present, the manufacturer, designer or distributor may be liable for the costs resulting from the injuries. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer to discuss your situation and better ensure your legal rights and any potential legal remedies are protected.