Fidget spinners are the latest fad for American kids, but these spinning bits of plastic may be more dangerous than most parents realize. In recent tests, researchers found some of the cheaper fidget spinners on the market feature substandard materials and inadequate machining, and some are capable of inflicting serious cuts and eye injuries.
What is a Fidget Spinner?
A fidget spinner is a metal bearing attached to a spinning piece of plastic or metal. When the user pinches both sides of the centerpiece of the spinner, he or she can then flick the spinning portion and the bearing will keep the spinner spinning for quite a while. Some people claim these toys are helpful to children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), allowing them to focus on more easily. While there is no science to indicate fidget spinners are an effective treatment for ADD, many children simply enjoy playing with fidget spinners and doing tricks with them.
Whenever a new fad hits the market, manufacturers race to flood the market with their own offerings. Unfortunately, the race for sales often leaves quality behind, and many of the fidget spinners appearing in U.S. stores are not well-made, nor are they properly tested for child safety.
The counterweights in a low-quality spinner may dislodge, creating a serious choking hazard for infants and toddlers. Poorly-machined fidget spinners may have uneven edges that can cause serious cuts while spinning. Others may break while in use, sending sharp pieces of debris flying. Some manufacturers have produced fidget spinners made of metal, resulting in a sturdier but inherently more dangerous product. Other companies have made fidget spinners that look like weapons such as comic book characters’ signature weapons or shurikens (commonly called “throwing stars” or “ninja stars”).
Injuries from Fidget Spinners
A recent study indicated some fidget spinners pose a serious risk of causing skin and eye injuries. Sarah Hainsworth, a blades expert and professor of materials and forensic engineering at the University of Leicester, tested several fidget spinners using a tomato as a substitute for a human eye and pork skin as a substitute for human skin. The spinners were able to cause damage to both the tomato and the pork skin, indicating they were capable of injuring human skin or a human eye.
Product manufacturers have a legal obligation to ensure their products are safe with normal, intended use. When they use substandard materials, inefficient production processes, or fail to include adequate safety warnings or instructions for use, they face liability for any consumer injuries under product liability law.
Understanding Product Liability Cases
A product can be defective by design, by production, or by insufficient or inaccurate marketing. A plaintiff in a product liability case does not necessarily need to prove a manufacturer was negligent to win a product liability claim, only that the product in question is indeed defective, and the defect caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Anyone injured by a fidget spinner should connect with a reliable product liability or Houston personal injury lawyer to discuss options for filing a claim against the manufacturer.