In a Facebook post that's now gone viral, mum Kelly Rose Joneic warned that as fun as fidget spinners can be, they can also be dangerous, and should all come with a choking hazard warning. Joneic wrote that on Saturday, after driving home from a swim meet, she heard her daughter, Britton, making retching noises in the backseat. When she looked in the rearview mirror, she saw Britton, red-faced with drool pouring from her mouth.
"I immediately pulled over," she wrote. "She pointed to her throat saying she'd swallowed something, so I attempted Heimlich but there was no resistance. She said she'd put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow swallowed it."
Upon arriving at urgent care, however, she said that doctors couldn't figure out where the "foreign object" was lodged. Once she and Britton went to the children's hospital, doctors there performed an x-ray — and found part of the fidget spinner lodged in Britton's oesophagus.
"The GI doctor was fascinated...he'd only just learned of fidget spinners that morning when he was at the mall with his son, so it was a surprise to be faced with one in a case a few hours later," she wrote. "After multiple, very stressful attempts to place an IV, Britton was taken to surgery to endoscopically locate and remove the object. Fortunately we had a positive outcome, but it was pretty scary there for a while...not only because of the initial ingestion, but then the concern about the composition and structure of the object, and finally, the risk with general anaesthesia."
While Britton is okay now, Joniec is taking a moment to warn other parents about the toy that's seemingly everywhere.
"Fidget spinners are the current craze so they are widely distributed," she wrote. "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."
Since Joniec posted her warning to Facebook on Monday, it has received over 498,000 shares at the time of writing. While some online listings for fidget spinners do contain choking hazards, some don't, and Joniec's post shows that almost anything can be a choking hazard for children, and serves as a pretty visceral reminder for parents.