Fidget Spinners: Harmless Fad or Dangerous Gamble
It’s difficult not to have noticed the newest craze within the toy market.
It’s difficult not to have noticed the newest craze within the toy market. The fidget spinner, made up of any number of prongs and an inner bearing, is this year’s toy to have. While simple in design and function, fans are finding new and creative ways to entertain themselves with the toy. From learning spinning tricks to customizing and modifying spinners, the newest fad has taken on all kinds of forms.
Manufacturers claim that the fidget spinners have benefits beyond fun entertainment. In actuality, the product is advertised as a stress reliever, particularly useful for those with autism, ADD, ADHD and anxiety. Although this has claim has yet to be proven through formal testing. When asked about the toy’s effectiveness at alleviating these disorders, Dr. Steven Shapiro, Chairman of Pediatrics at Abington Hospital, had this to say, "occupational therapists have long used these distracters to help people concentrate on what they’re doing."
Stores are struggling to keep enough in stock while classrooms across the nation are flooded by the toy’s presence. Recently, Forbes named the fidget spinner their toy of the year for 2017, branding the spinner as an outlet for not only children but adults as well.
Despite universal intrigue from parents and children alike, recent incidents have called the toy’s safety into question. A 10-year-old girl from Texas had to be rushed to the emergency room after accidentally swallowing one of the bearings while trying to disassemble the toy. A similar incident in Indiana, occurred when a young girl started choking on the bearing while playing with the toy. In both cases, specialists were able to dislodge the small part from the girls’ throats before any serious harm was done.
According to the Toy Association, a not-for-profit trade association, to ensure children stay safe while playing with fidget spinners, one should only purchase the product from a reputable retailer that you know and trust. These types of retailers should be selling other products that comply with the most rigorous of U.S. safety standards. In addition, look for the safety warnings listed on the product packaging. A lack of warnings could be a sign of a potentially defective product that isn’t safe for use. Finally, routinely inspect fidget spinners for signs of damage. Any damaged toys should be discarded to ensure safety for children.