Fidget Spinners – Good for Kids or Not?
By Jeanette LePorte
“Fidget spinners are a huge craze right now, sparking debate across the nation about the safety of these products,” says Joan Lawrence, The Toy Association’s “Toy Safety Mom” and senior vice president of standards and regulatory affairs. “We encourage parents to always supervise their children, and ensure they are playing with spinners in the way they are intended to be used. A good rule of thumb: if a fidget spinner doesn’t look sturdy or doesn’t have any age or safety labeling, don’t risk it with your child.”
- Follow Age Labels
Make sure fidget spinners are age-appropriate. Always follow age labeling, and if the spinner does not have age guidance on its packaging, don’t buy it. Never give children under three years of age (or those who still put toys in their mouths) any items, such as fidget spinners, that have small parts. Children who are old enough to play with fidget spinners should be taught how to play with them correctly—and instructed never to put them in their mouths.
- Shop at Reputable Retailers
Shop at a reputable retailer that you know and trust. Those retailers will be selling products that have been tested and comply with strict U.S. safety standards. When a craze like the fidget spinners hits, you may be tempted to buy one for your child wherever you can find one (like at a pop-up vendor on the street or from an unknown online seller), but the safety of products sold outside a reputable retailer cannot be guaranteed.
- Tips for Light-Up Spinners
Small batteries are required to be secured so that a tool or coin is needed to access the battery compartment. Fidget spinners with a light-up feature might utilize small batteries that can be harmful if accidentally ingested. Avoid giving a child a light-up spinner if it does not also have a locking mechanism on the battery compartment.
- Check for Broken Parts
Check fidget spinners periodically for damage. Broken items should be discarded and not left in a child’s environment.
Emotional Well Being:
Teachers say ‘It just adds to the chaos’
While fidget spinners may seem simple and harmless, many teachers are not allowing them in their classroom and/or school. The reasons include that if 10 or 15 are being used in the classroom a the same time they are noisy and that they distract other students.
Don’t believe the spin
Many retailers promote the device as being good for kids with ADHD , PTSD , and other types of hyperactivity disorders. But according to clinical psychologists, “there’s no evidence to support that claim.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2011 as many as 6.4 million children between the ages of four and 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD.