If you’re not a youth today then you may not know what the hell a fidget spinner actually is, and we don’t blame you. The fidget spinner is a small gadget with a ball bearing in the center to help spin three outside weights of the gadget. It’s the latest craze among elementary and middle school kids.
Stores like Walgreens are having a hard time just keeping these gadgets stocked because of their popularity. You can even buy them by the thousands on Amazon, and entrepreneurs have been taking major advantage of the fad.
While most kids are using the fidget spinner to do tricks, it was originally intended to help kids with learning disabilities focus on their school work. But now that nearly every kid has one, they’re posing some hazards and annoyances...
Some parents have been debating getting their kids a fidget spinner when they inevitably beg for one, and there are certainly some reasons why they’re a good thing: they’re harmless entertainment to keep your kid engaged in something, and they’re very inexpensive for the most part.
Some schools have even outright banned fidget spinners, on the grounds that they’re just too distracting for students in the classroom. Kids do tons of tricks with them, including balancing the spinners on their fingertips or pencils.
Trevor Hins, a Minnesota parent of two, says that fidget spinners have been helpful for his five-year-old autistic daughter, but they’ve only been a distraction for his seven-year-old son, and have subsequently been banned from his school.
Hins says that his son “doesn’t concentrate [on] other things better when using the spinner. He concentrates on the spinner. He [also] loses it or parts of it multiple times a day and then finding it consumes him.”
Joniec posted on Facebook that she and her daughter Britton were driving home from a swim meet one Saturday when she heard Britton making retching noises in the backseat. When Joniec saw that she was choking on something, she quickly pulled over and tried to do the Heimlich maneuver, to no avail.
Britton was able to communicate that she had accidentally swallowed a small part of her fidget spinner after she put it in her mouth to try and clean it. Joniec frantically rushed Britton to urgent care, where they checked her for choking.
Unfortunately, however, urgent care couldn’t figure out where exactly the part had gotten stuck — either in the airway or the esophagus. So Joniec and Britton were sent along to the ER in an ambulance.
Once at the ER, X-rays found that the part had indeed gotten lodged in Britton’s throat. Doctors attempted to place an IV, with no luck, so she was then rushed into surgery to remove the foreign object.
Luckily, the surgery did the trick and the fidget spinner part was successfully removed from Britton’s throat. Joniec has understandably expressed apprehension, however, because of the relatively recent craze of fidget spinners. She says that the GI specialist at the ER had just learned about the gadgets that morning.
Joniec wrote in her Facebook post that she wishes to warn other parents about the potential dangers of fidget spinners, since their parts pop out very easily. She says that because they are so popular right now, they are being widely distributed to kids of all ages, whether or not they are age-appropriate.