This mother thought she’d given her daughter a harmless toy. But she didn’t realize the danger she was placing in her hands.

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A spinner, also commonly known as a fidget spinner, is a fashionable toy right now. It was initially created by a mother who suffered from an autoimmune disorder and was no longer able to play with her daughter. She invented it as a means of entertaining her daughter but these days this massively popular toy can be found everywhere. There are even tutorials on YouTube, in classrooms and in thousands of homes on how to use it. The toys have ball-bearings, which are held between the fingers, where a child can flick them and make them spin. The greater the force applied, the faster they spin. At first glance it seems like a harmless toy, but a couple of days ago a shocking story hit the social networks, alerting everyone to some unknown dangers of the fidget spinner.

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Kelly Rose Joniec from Texas almost lost her daughter because of this toy. Like so many other children, her daughter Britton had become addicted to playing with her spinner. On their way home from swimming one Saturday in May, Kelly heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat while she was driving. When she turned around to see what was happening, she saw her daughter’s face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth. Completely panic-stricken, she immediately pulled over and attempted to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre but it wasn’t working.

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Her daughter could still utter sounds and pointed to her throat indicating she had swallowed something. She had put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow managed to swallow it. Frantically, Kelly rushed her daughter to get emergency care. At the Texas Children’s Hospital, the doctors discovered the metal piece was lodged in her oesophagus.

In the hospital an x-ray was taken, which showed exactly where the spinner piece had got stuck in Britton’s throat and to remove it, the doctors would have to place her under general anesthetic and perform an endoscopy.

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Fortunately, Britton did not suffocate completely and managed to survive the scary ordeal, but that does not detract from the now apparent risks of choking, especially among young children who do not know how to properly use the toy. As a result, Kelly issued a warning: «From this I wish to offer some word of caution to parents. 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».

What a shock Kelly and her daughter Britton went through. Luckily, they had a positive outcome with the young girl being able to survive the dangerous incident. We hope that this mother’s warning will alert parents of young children to the potential dangers associated with this toy. It just goes to show that it’s always best to pay attention to safety warnings!

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