Although they’ve been used forever as tools for children with attention or sensory disorders, it seems like fidget spinners have recently taken over the world. They’re everywhere. And like all overnight trends, fidget spinners have their own problems. Like the growing number of parents who say that fidget spinners are dangerous and that some should be recalled. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock or blissfully removed from world of children and grownups who pick up on children’s trends, fidget spinners are not a brand, they are a thing.
They’re basically like spinning tops, but they spin in your hand, and have been used for some time as a calming device for kids with ADHD or autism. Spinny things are fun, though, so now every child wants to be sitting in the classroom with a fidget spinner whether they need one or not.
All fidget spinners are different, there are colored ones, metal ones, small ones, cheap ones. But most of them have one thing in common, a detachable piece that some kids are choking on.
So are fidget spinners that dangerous?
No matter what you tell a tiny human about putting things in their mouths, it will end up there. In fact, you might have even given them the idea to put something in their mouth. They’s what happened to Johely Morelos and her 5-year-old son. According to BuzzFeed, Morelos saw a story about the Texas girl who had to go to the emergency room because she choked on a detachable part of her fidget spinner. Morelos showed her son the report and told him, “don’t ever put anything from the fidget spinner in your mouth.”
“I guess he didn’t listen well,” she said.
He ended up in the hospital, too, where doctors had to surgically remove the disc with a tube.
Morelos is now working with children’s advocacy groups to demand that fidget spinners be recalled and have a choking warning on the packaging. According to reports, none of the best selling fidget spinners on Amazon have warnings. And although it seems like a given that you shouldn’t put pieces of plastic and metal in your mouth, that’s just not how the world works for pre-schoolers (or even middle schoolers).
It’s not just the choking hazard, either. Other kids are getting bearings from their fidget spinners stuck to their hands. A 3-year-old Missouri child had to go to the emergency room to get a bearing removed by professionals. Since the incidents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, is investigating fidgets spinners and encourages parents to report incidents to SaferProducts.gov
In the meantime, buy your fidget spinners from reputable toy sellers, don’t give them to kids under 3 years old, and test it out before you hand it over. Just don’t put it in your mouth.