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Throw out the fidget spinner – you may save your kid’s life



Calah Alexander - published on 06/02/17

Parents claim the small parts in this popular toy are dangerous.

When I first heard about fidget spinners, I thought they sounded kind of neat. My 11-year-old fidgets all the time, and a fidget spinner is a blissfully silent alternative to drumming and tapping. A friend gave my daughter one and it seemed harmless enough, aside from the constant bickering it caused among my children.

Then she dropped it one day, and a small round part popped off. She put it back on, but it kept popping off after that. Eventually she lost it, but another one fell off the next day. She didn’t notice until she looked down and saw her 18-month-old baby brother chewing on something, and hastily fished it out of his mouth.

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That freaked me out, so I declared the fidget spinners off-limits in areas where the baby was allowed. He was, after all, the only child young enough to randomly chew on small pieces.

Later that day, my mom showed me a Facebook post about a 10-year-old girl who got part of a fidget spinner stuck in her esophagus — a post I was reading when I happened to look up and notice my 4-year-old prying a loose piece off the fidget spinner with his teeth.

The fidget spinner immediately died a much-lamented death in our garbage bin, making me the worst mother my kids have ever had. According to Good Housekeeping, though, fidget spinners are too dangerous to keep:

Johely Morelos cautioned her son Cayden about the dangers of fidget spinners after seeing a news story about a Texas girl who choked on a loose part, but that didn’t stop the 5-year-old from popping off a piece of his own spinner and swallowing it. “I showed him pictures and said, ‘Never put that in your mouth,'” the 23-year-old mom in Albany, Oregon told BuzzFeed News. “I guess he didn’t listen that well.”

Morelos has taken to Facebook to raise awareness of the dangers inherent in fidget spinners. She wants them to be recalled and labelled with appropriate choking hazard warnings. Other mothers have reported similar scares with fidget spinner bearings, including an ER visit where doctors had to use three different tools to cut a bearing off a 3-year-old’s finger.

It’s not just the loose bearings that make fidget spinners dangerous. My mom is an administrator at a K-12 school in Texas, where fidget spinners were banned after the high school boys started spinning them into the girls’ long hair. She said the spinners got so tangled that they had to be cut out — sometimes removing a large, visible amount of hair.

I know, I know, losing hair isn’t actually dangerous, but your teenage daughter’s reaction to having a brand new bald spot might be. So take my advice and do her and your other kids a favor and confiscate their fidget spinners, before it’s too late.

Health and WellnessParenting
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