Fort Worth, Texas,
10:34 AM

Fidget Spinners Can Be Choking Hazards

Recent social media posts explain the dangers

Recently, we wrote about what you should consider before you buy your child a fidget spinner.

But what we didn’t address were the safety issues of the fidget devices that it seems every child in America owns, whether they have ADHD or not.

On Monday, a Texas mom wrote a Facebook post that everyone should read.

Kelly Rose Joniec said she heard her daughter making “an odd retching noise” from the backseat of her car. Her daughter’s face turned red and drool poured out of her mouth. The little girl pointed to her throat and said she swallowed a part from her spinner.

The child was rushed to the hospital where she needed surgery to remove the object.

“From this I wish to offer some word of caution to parents,” Joniec wrote. “Fidget spinners are the current craze so they are widely distributed. Kids of all ages may be getting them, but not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings. The bushings pop out easily, so if you have young kids (under 8 yr old) keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard.”

In Franklin, Ga., a grandmother wrote on social media how her 3-year-old grandson’s fidget spinner came apart with him holding it and saw a small battery that could have been a choking hazard.

Each year, more than 2,800 kids are treated in emergency rooms after swallowing button batteries, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. That’s one child every three hours.

If you have older children who can comprehend the dangers of choking, talk to them about not placing a fidget spinner in their mouth.

If you do suspect your child has ingested a battery, go to the hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional. Safe Kids advises parents to keep the National Battery Ingestion Hotline (202-625-3333) in your contacts.

Otherwise, keep fidget spinners, and other devices that could be a choking hazard, out of reach of your young children.

If you suspect choking, always get treatment right away.

About the Author

Justin Smith, M.D., is a pediatrician and the Medical Advisor for Digital Health for Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. He has an active community on both Facebook and Twitter as @TheDocSmitty and writes weekly for Cook Children's His interest in communications started when he realized that his parents were relying more on the internet for medical information. He believes that strategic use of social media and technology by pediatricians to connect with families can deepen their relationship and provide a new level of convenience for both of their busy lifestyles. Dr. Smith’s innovative pediatric clinic, a pediatric clinic “designed by you,” is set to open in Trophy Club in 2017.

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