Does your child have a fidget spinner? Thank goodness school is coming to an end just as this craze is getting crazier! Not only are some schools banning fidget spinners altogether, there have recently been concerns over choking.
While fidget spinners have warnings about choking hazards, 2 children have been hospitalized after ingesting and choking on parts of the spinner. Both of these children required surgery to remove the piece of the spinner that they had “accidentally swallowed”. Neither of these children were under the age of 3 years (the recommended age to avoid using a spinner). It seems that children of all ages put things in their mouths (fingernails, pencils, coins) and in several cases pieces of the spinner have fallen apart.
I have recently noticed my patients playing with fidget spinners. Several little boys were fighting over their different colored fidget spinners just the other day, before their mom took them all away! They were showing me how they “were supposed to help manage their attention and focus”…but they looked like a distraction to me and I can only imagine if 20 kids in one class have them…all “fidget spinning” at once. Sounds like a few minutes of extra recess might be a better idea?
Fidget spinners have been around for some time, and were initially thought to be
a “stress relieving toy” which would help certain people focus. But, there seems to be “ no research into the efficacy or safety of fidget spinners to help manage the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety or any other mental health conditions”, according to the director of the ADHD program at Duke University.
While these may only be a craze for the rest of the school year they are inexpensive and easily purchased at multiple toy stores and on- line. Do not let children under the age of 3 years play with this toy!! For children ages 3-6 I would make sure to talk to them about choking dangers and never to put the toy in their mouths, and be supervised when playing. For older children I would again make them aware of the choking issues and even show them x-rays of the toy lodged in the esophagus. This might be another “teaching moment” to NEVER put toys into your mouth (or coins or batteries….) because accidental ingestions do occur. Remind them to only play with them with their hands as some toys have been known to fall apart.
I bet this craze may be short lived once school is out and summer activities provide even more diversion than a 3 pronged toy that turns into a blur when twirled on your finger!! I am not investing in one.