THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked?
It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger.
In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners, I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how not to turn a fidget spinner into a modern weapon of death.
1. Do not eat your fidget spinner
This should go without saying, but it’s a toy; not a delicious if challenging metal snack.
2. Do not put your fidget spinner in your mouth at all
Once again, a fidget spinner not a pacifier, it’s not a lollipop, it’s not a doctor’s tongue depressor. I have not seen it recommended for even one of those alternative uses on any packaging at all, and believe me, I’ve looked.
A fidget spinner is merely an entertaining, inexpensively-produced toy that can eventually fall apart — even in your mouth, if that’s where it happens to be at the time.
This actually happened to one child for real, and it was a scary, horrible, awful thing that should happen to no children ever again. Things turned out okay, thank goodness and she’s fine now. Even so, a good rule in general: No toys in the mouth.
3. Do not use your fidget spinner as a Japanese throwing star
Generally, throwing small metal objects at the heads of small children should be discouraged, especially by other children. It can not only be dangerous, but your child will become “that kid who threw the fidget spinner at the other kid’s head” and no good can come of that.
On the positive side, you will save a ton on playdate snacks over the course of the next year. But not worth the tradeoff.
4. Do not give a fidget spinner to an infant or toddler
Oh my lord, parents. Do we even have to talk about this? Remember the choking hazard thing? The no toys in mouth thing? The kids should not suck on car keys or remote controls or iPhones thing because of all the heavy metals and lead content? Of course you do. So let’s move on.
5. Toss your fidget spinner if it breaks
Yes, we all know how much some our kids have affection for every little piece of dryer lint and every ripped gum wrapper remnant that enters our homes by way of their pockets (not just my daughter, right?) but if a toy containing ball bearings and other tiny parts breaks, toss it.
Even if they love it. Even if they get down on their knees and swear that it’s the most important fidget spinner ever because Dylan gave it to me and she moved to another town and now I never see her and this reminds me of her because of that one time we played with them together!
Just, no. Be strong. You can do it!
6 Hover over your child every possible moment that they are playing with a fidget spinner. Pretend they are in the deep end of the swimming pool without floaties. Take your eyes off of them never.
No, you don’t really have to do this. But I have seen this suggestion by real safety experts, only it’s framed as “supervise your children at all times.”
That may apply to younger children, some of whom frankly would need supervision if they were in a padded playroom reading a soft book. But with older kids, I say it’s better to teach your kids the rules about certain toys (see numbers 1-5) and if they can’t follow them, no more toy.
You’re the parent. You get to make those decisions.
7. Do not taunt fidget spinner