A piece of the fidget spinner got stuck in her daughter’s esophagus
If you have a kid over the age of five, chances are good that you also have a fidget spinner or six in your house. The popular toys have taken over with the grade school set in recent months, but aren’t without their risks, as this story of a child swallowing one of the pieces and ending up in surgery proves.
Texas mom Kelly Rose Joniec explains the “eventful” Saturday that ended with her daughter in surgery to remove a piece from a fidget spinner that had gotten lodged in the child’s throat.
Janiec writes that on the way back from a swim meet, Britton, 10, was making a “retching noise” from the backseat as she drove. The mom pulled over when she saw her daughter’s face turning red and drool coming from her mouth.
“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.”
Panicked, Janiec brought her daughter to urgent care where it couldn’t be discerned whether the part was in her airway or her esophagus, so an ambulance sped her to Texas Children’s Hospital. There, x-rays revealed that one of the spinner’s bushings (a small, circular, metal disk) was lodged in Britton’s esophagus.
The surgeon, who Janiec describes as “fascinated” by her daughter’s case, had just learned about fidget spinners that morning during a mall trip with his son. He took a special interest in Britton’s case as he’s also advocate for safe children’s toys.
Britton was taken to endoscopic surgery to remove the part. Janiec writes, “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 anesthesia.”
After her ordeal, Janiec is only wanting to caution fellow parents, as the fidget spinner craze doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. “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.”
My kids, ages seven and nine, both own fidget spinners and I’ve seen firsthand how easily the bearings can pop out as well as the plastic disc at the center of the toy. Luckily, my kid who puts things in her mouth has already lost interest in hers, but you can bet we will be having a chat after school today in case she decides to start playing with it again.
And kindly save the “the mom should’ve been watching her” and “where were the parents?” comments. Kids do stupid and unsafe shit in the blink of an eye. Parents can’t literally keep an eye on their children 24/7, and accidents happen. Judging by some of the harsh comments Janiec’s post garnered, she’s brave for sharing her story. Not to mention, a hero. This could very likely save another child from suffering the same fate.