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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The EU includes the fidget spinners in the blacklist of dangerous products

Por Jade

The European Commission (EC) has introduced the popular toys known as 'spinners' in the list of items that represent a health hazard. The EC explains that in 2017 these articles were the cause of much of the emergencies attended. In its annual report on the Rapid Alert System on non-food dangerous products, published this month, the EC points out that during the past year 29% of the more than 2,000 emergency notices were related to toys, including spinners.

The boom of this product, which enchanted not only boys but also adults, was huge and toured all parts of the world. “In 2017 this toy caught the attention of children and adults, especially because they are promoted as toys to reduce anxiety”. The creator of the spinner is the engineer Catherine Hettinger, who invented it almost three decades ago with the aim of entertaining her daughter. Therefore, it was stated that this toy is a tool capable of improving concentration and is even recommended for children suffering from Attention Deficit Syndrome. The specialists relativized the benefits of this device against stress and anxiety, arguing that they do not surpass those that physical or recreational activity can generate. In fact, some argued that spending a lot of time playing rather than stimulating concentration would have the opposite effect.

"Toys, for example, several models of the popular 'fidget spinners', cars and motorcycles topped the list of dangerous products detected and withdrawn from the market," the European Commission said in a statement.

The report does not specify the other dangerous children's articles, but it does highlight that some models of spinners represent a risk for children. However, those models containing button batteries or are composed of "easily removable small parts" could "pose a risk to young children, who can take them to the mouth and suffocate." In these cases, "hospital intervention is necessary and urgent," says the report.

The alerts generated "about four thousand follow-up actions, such as withdrawal from the market," according to the community executive, which is set as "challenge" to ensure that products purchased online and from third countries "comply with the rules of security of the EU ". The website of the Rapid Alert System updates weekly the products indicated by the different countries. In 2018, this system has already registered 393 alerts, of which 36% are related to toys.