Simple gadgets can sometimes take the world by storm – one of the most recent being fidget spinners. You’ve likely witnessed youth with one of these devices, whether you knew what it was or not. A fidget spinner is a ball-bearing device that continuously spins when you rotate it with your fingers. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and is said to reduce stress. Many people have even claimed benefits from these devices to children with ADHD and autism. Unfortunately, fidget spinners have also been a cause of distraction to children in schools. Many classrooms have banned the devices. And like most consumer products, recent studies claim safety risks with fidget spinners as well.
In both Texas and Oregon, children have been rushed to the hospital after choking on fidget spinner pieces. They are made of small pieces and prongs with a circular pad in the middle. Users hold these gadgets by this middle circle with a finger and thumb, spinning the toy with other fingers. Reports show that brushings within the toys can pop out easily, leading to risk of choking.
A Texas mother was driving with her daughter in the backseat when she heard choking noises. Her daughter had apparently tried to clean the fidget spinner by putting it in her mouth, which led to her accidentally swallowing the device. X-rays from the Emergency Room revealed part of the device stuck in the child’s throat. Because the spinner is approximately the size of a quarter, surgery was necessary to remove the object.
In Oregon, a fidget spinner broke, causing a metal bearing to fly into a child’s mouth while playing with the device. She also had to have the object removed at a local hospital.
While all products have potential dangers, it is important to understand the risks in an attempt to prevent injury – especially to children. Parents, we urge you to explain the risks and dangers of fidget spinners to your children as a safety precaution.