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Fidget spinners: Parents warned about choking risks

Children play fidget spinner

Fidget spinners are the latest trend to spread through schools. Supporters say they help children to concentrate and are a safe fad – but the toys could be a choking hazard and some schools have banned the gadgets altogether

Parents are being warned about the risks of fidget spinners after a child in America choked on a detachable part of the toy, and needed surgery.

Britton Joniec, from Texas, was playing with her fidget spinner when she put a detachable moving part of it in her mouth. It then become lodged in her gastrointestinal tract, choking her. Her mother Kelly Rose was unable to dislodge it and Britton had to be put under general anaesthetic to have the part removed.
Fidget spinners have been banned at our school now. After confiscating several I can understand why kids like them – they're impossible to put down!
The fidget spinner Britton had been using was the type that is sold in toy shops and market stalls all over the UK.

Kelly Rose has issued a warning on Facebook to other parents that the toys shouldn't be used unattended by children under eight, and that all parents should be aware of the dangers.

What are fidget spinners?

A fidget spinner is a three-pronged, palm-sized piece of plastic or metal which spins around a central weighted disc. It can be used for tricks and stunts such as throwing the spinning item and catching it again without stopping its motion, or stacking toys in towers while they spin. Cheap fidget spinners can cost as little as £2 and are the current must-have playground accessory. I have to take my daughter's away during dinner or she tries to eat one-handed while spinning at the same time. They're infuriating.

They were originally intended for use by children with autism, ADHD or learning difficulties – the act of fiddling with the spinner can help children concentrate or help ground them when they are anxious or distracted.

Many parents have reported that schools have banned the items, saying they are distracting and noisy, or that they are causing arguments amongst children.

On Mumsnet, parents have praised them for helping their children concentrate, but teachers have also voiced frustration over playground arguments being caused by the latest trend.