Firefighter warning of fidget spinners after he says metal piece ends up in daughter’s stomach

Photo from Decatur Township Fire Department

DECATUR TOWNSHIP, IN– A new fad many kids have their hands on is prompting a warning from some firefighters.

A Decatur Township fireman said a few minutes with a fidget spinner ended up with a trip to the hospital for his 9-year old daughter.

“You don’t think that would ever happen,” Shane Holtsclaw said.

He’s used to responding to 911 calls, but Memorial Day weekend he and his daughter, Emma, never expected to be on the other end.

“It was just one of those freak accidents,” Holtsclaw said.

He said Emma was spinning the toy on her finger and talking when a metal piece broke off.

“And it flies out a lot and then it flew out and then it went into my mouth,” Emma said.

“The next thing she came up to the middle of the car grabbing her throat,” Holtsclaw said.

He said he started giving her back blows until she coughed and was able to breath, had first responders make sure it didn’t get into her lungs, then drove her to the hospital. He said an x-ray showed the metal piece in her stomach.

“Be careful with them, an accident can happen at any time,” Holtsclaw said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it’s investigating reported incidents involving children and fidget spinners. It released this statement to CBS4 News:

“CPSC is investigating reported incidents involving children and fidget spinners. We advise parents to keep these away from young children, because if a part liberates from the fidget spinner and is a small part they can choke on small parts. Warn older children not to put fidget spinners in their mouths. We urge consumers to report any incidents with this product to CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov.”

Many times, the toys aren’t being used the way they were intended.

“If you’re noticing that they have it or they’re doing it, it’s probably not doing its job,” Sarah Johnson, a pediatric physical therapist at Riley Children’s Health said.

Johnson said the toys were meant to give children with sensory processing disorders something to do to help them focus in school and the popularity of the toys is helping to spark meaningful conversations.

“The good thing about fidget spinners is they’re bringing more of a conversation, they’re bringing more attention to some kids that actually do need some of these things to help them succeed,” she said.

While they help some, Holtsclaw wants to make sure parents keep an eye on them too.

“I don’t want to see a parent have to go through what I went through, I don’t want to see a kid choke,” he said.

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