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Fidget spinners, hoverboards top summer safety warning list

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Fidget spinners, a popular spinning toy, was included in World Against Toys Causing Harm’s yearly summer toy safety advisory because of the potential for a choking hazard. Michael Brun / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

RED WING, Minn. — A child safety group is warning parents about the potential choking hazard of fidget spinners as kids look to keep busy this summer.

The trendy spinning toy can fall apart and the small pieces could become lodged in a child's throat, according to World Against Toys Causing Harm. The group ranked fidget spinners no. 1 on its Top 10 Summer Safety Traps for 2017 report released June 21.

"Do not be lulled into a false sense of security that a toy is safe simply because it is popular," said Joan Siff, president of WATCH, in a news release.

The group urges parents to research toy fads to make an informed decision before purchasing them for their children.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is reportedly investigating recent choking incidents involving fidget spinners. A June 18 tweet by the federal regulatory agency says to keep fidget spinners away from young children and to remind older children not to put the toy in their mouths.

Hoverboards and more

Hoverboards, those battery-powered self-balancing scooters, are a continuing safety hazard because lithium-ion batteries have been linked to fires, according to WATCH.

"It is a tragedy when a child dies but when that death could have been prevented it's inexcusable," Siff said. "The ongoing injuries and deaths associated with hoverboards continue to be a wakeup call that products should be tested before they reach consumers and not tested on consumers."

Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning May 1 for consumers to stop using the LayZ Board scooter in response to involvement in a March 10 house fire that killed two girls in Harrisburg, Pa.

More than 3,000 of the China-manufactured hoverboards were imported into the U.S.

Other summer safety traps highlighted by WATCH include:

• Electric shock drownings near docks, marinas and boats due to electrical currents in the water.

• Potential for drowning due to baby pools, garden buckets and sagging pool covers.

• The risk of eye injury by high-powered water guns and toys with projectile ammunition.

WATCH, Inc. is a nonprofit organization working to educate the public about child safety. In addition to the summer safety report, the organization has released a yearly "10 Worst Toys" list for more than 40 years.

The Top 10 Summer Safety Traps list can be viewed online at www.toysafety.org.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

(651) 301-7875
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