As an update to our Recall Roundup’s focus on the fidget spinning craze from June and July, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) has released spinner safety tips. Although the CPSC still reports no fidget spinner recalls, Acting Chairman Ann Marie Buerkle used the CPSC’s bully pulpit to warn of the choking dangers that result when fidget spinners break and release small pieces. In addition, she references “reports of fires involving battery-operated fidget spinners.”
The once scarcely available spinning toy went viral late spring and as retailers struggled to get inventory to match the demand, the toy now appears nearly everywhere there is a retail cash register, often in bare bones packaging. Even when the packaging contains some age restrictions or warnings, the dangers may have been overlooked in the rush to satisfy those fidgety impulses. The CPSC’s safety alert highlights those dangers and puts those in the fidget spinner supply chain on notice of what the CPSC expects in the recently released “Fidget Spinner Business Guidance.”
Beware of marketing these gadgets to children who are 12 years of age and younger since the compliance burden increases for that category. The CPSC “considers the following factors when determining whether an item is a children’s product: marketing materials, and whether the product and packaging designs are primarily intended to appeal to a child 12 years of age and younger, and the product’s age grading.” As a retailer, be sure to check the packaging for an age grading and harmonize those in-store displays.
Another “viral” product is likely to be the eclipse viewing glasses needed for watching the much anticipated August 21 solar eclipse. Although the CPSC has not yet weighed in on any known hazards associated with specific products, NASA has alerted consumers to the standards they should seek in eye protection for eclipse viewing and warned of the distribution of unsafe eclipse viewing glasses.