by Lindsay Black

Children across the globe are clamoring for fidget spinners - simple, handheld devices you can spin with your fingers. Here are a few things you should know.

  1. It is a fidget toy. The devices are marketed as a tool to help children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism and other similar disorders focus. Fidget spinners give children something to focus their energy on in the background, in turn enabling them to better focus on the task at hand. The gadget is in the shape of a propeller and comes in several colors. They each have ball bearings, which allow them to spin.
  2. Some schools have banned fidget spinners. Several schools have started to ban the toy and teachers have shared that they can be very distracting and dangerous to other students.
  3. They can be dangerous. There are reports of children being hospitalized from playing with the toy. Eye injuries have been reported as well as children swallowing parts. One 10-year-old child in Texas was recently hospitalized from swallowing one of its pieces.
  4. The demand is huge. Fidget spinners have become the top selling toys at multiple toy stores across the country. They come in different colors, patterns and features and are relatively inexpensive.
  5. Fidget spinners aren’t the first device of their kind. Fidget cubes - small toys with different types of sensory elements on all six sides are also devices that have been used to help aid children with ADHD.

It's important to remember that, while these devices can aid children with ADHD by helping them focus, they don't replace a proper treatment plan. If you think your child might have ADHD, talk with a doctor - they'll work with you to develop an individualized, long-term plan. Otherwise, be sure to educate your children about the proper and safe way to play with this toy.