Just when all the hoopla surrounding fidget spinners was finally starting to die down a little bit, comes news of a 10-year-old Texas girl choking on a fidget spinner part.
According to a Facebook post written by mom Kelly Rose Joniec, her daughter Britton started choking in the back seat of her car over the weekend after she popped out one of her fidget's bearings and swallowed it.
"We had a pretty eventful Saturday," Joniec wrote. "On the way home from a fun swim meet, I heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat as I was driving. Looking back in the mirror, I saw her face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth—she could utter noises but looked panicked so I immediately pulled over. She said she'd put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow swallowed it."
Yikes! After trying to dislodge the thing using the Heimlich maneuver—didn't work—Joniec rushed Britton to urgent care, and then eventually to Texas Children's Hospital, where an X-ray revealed the round metal bearing was caught in her esophagus. She was then taken to surgery to endoscopically locate and remove the object.
"Fortunately we had a positive outcome," Joniec explained. "But it was pretty scary there for a while. 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."
I think it's great that Joniec is trying to give other parents a head's up about the fact that the bearings can be popped out and pose a choking hazard if put in the mouth. But the list of things that carry the same threat is pretty much endless—water bottle caps, coins, and the tops from contact lens cases come to mind. Yes, kids do stupid things sometimes. Which is why it's probably a good idea for us to remind them not to put any small item into their mouths—no matter how old there are. And of course, pay attention to the safety warnings on toy packaging before giving any toy to young kids—especially those 3 and under. (Get more information on choking hazards and prevention.)