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Houston mother says a fidget spinner almost killed her daughter

Posted May 20

"Kids of all ages may be getting them, but not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings." (Deseret Photo)

A Houston mother said this week that a fidget spinner almost killed her child.

Kelly Rose Joniec said in a Facebook post that her 10-year-old daughter swallowed a piece of a fidget spinner and almost choked to death while they were driving home from a swim meet. Her daughter, Britton, went into emergency surgery on Monday afternoon to remove the piece lodged in her throat.

“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 wrote in a Facebook post. “She pointed to her throat saying she’d swallowed something, so I attempted Heimlich but there was no resistance.”

Joniec said her daughter put three pieces of the device in her mouth so she could clean it, and accidentally swallowed the metal piece, the New York Post reported.

Joniec said the doctor couldn’t believe what he saw once they conducted X-rays on her daughter.

“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,” Joniec wrote.

The doctor used an endoscope to remove the object, according to the New York Post.

Joniec said she advises caution to parents whose children want the hit new toy.

“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,” she said.

Fidget spinners have received both praise and criticism since their rise in popularity. Teachers nationwide have shared their grievances with the device, saying it’s a distraction for children who bring them into class, according to the Deseret News.

There's also a perception that the device helps children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety focus. But, according to Time magazine, that’s not exactly the case.

“Mental illness is difficult to treat, and it’s not something for which there are simple solutions,” Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist and senior director of the ADHD and Behavioral Disorders Center at the nonprofit Child Mind Institute, told Time magazine. “The most frequent thing we say to parents with an unfortunately disheartened tone is that if something appears like it’s an easy fix for mental health difficulties, it’s probably too good to be true.”

Meanwhile, blogger Erin Stewart said she doesn’t want her children to use the devices because they’re another external distraction from daily life.

“The last thing they need is one more item in their repertoire of stimulation devices,” she wrote.

3 Comments

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  • Betsy Sparks May 21, 12:45 p.m.
    user avatar

    I almost feel sorry for this mother and daughter, since their idiocy is being posted for all to see. Almost. Most kids are taught as toddlers not to put things in their mouths that don't belong there.

  • Stacie Hagwood May 21, 7:08 a.m.
    user avatar

    This is not a spinner issue. This is an issue where a person (in keeping with the times) blames someone or some company when the person misuses a product.

  • Dean Morron May 21, 4:50 a.m.
    user avatar

    Shouldn't a 10 year old know better ??? I think the headline here should read " Parents don't teach common sense to their children anymore, thus making them stupid !!! "