Concerns have been raised due to accidents involving young children having swallowed broken parts of these toys.
Toys once again topped the list in 2017 of dangerous products reported in the EU, where the authorities have been confronted to the potential risk of fidget spinners, which are very popular in playgrounds, according to a report published on Monday March 12.
A total of 2,201 alerts were transmitted via the “Early Warning System” for non-food products, which allows any European country to report to others a withdrawal of hazardous product from its market or a recall by a manufacturer, indicated the European Commission.
The most reported product category in 2017 was toys (29% of cases), followed by motor vehicles (20%), followed by clothing, textiles and fashion items (12%). As in the previous year, China was the main country of origin of the reported hazardous products (53% of cases, compared with 26% of European origin).
Among the toys, the Commission has particularly highlighted in its annual report the dangers associated with certain models of fidget spinners — these small colored toys that have had tremendous success with children (and their parents…).
“Concerns have been raised because of accidents involving young children having swallowed broken parts of these toys… “, with some cases resulting in the need for urgent hospitalizations, says the European executive.
Thanks to the early warning system, dangerous fidget spinners have been found, stopped at the EU borders or ports or destroyed, the Commission said.
The more than 2,000 alerts notified in 2017, across all domains, resulted in almost 4,000 follow-up actions, such as product withdrawals or import refusals. Risk of injury was the most cited reason for the warnings (28%), followed by chemical risk (22%).
“The number of registered alerts “represents only the tip of the iceberg, because of insufficient controls,” said Monday the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), in a statement.
“Connected objects that pose new dangers for children can remain on sale legally because the legal framework is outdated,” also regrets the director general of this organization, Monique Goyens, citing the example of the “spy” doll Cayla, that “the Member States do not have the powers to withdraw from the market”.