Public Service Announcement
Fidget Spinner Ingestion Hazard
From the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt would like to inform the members of our pediatric community about a new button battery danger for children. There have been several cases nationwide of severe damage to the esophagus caused by children ingesting the parts of "fidget spinners" that contain LED lights and button batteries. These cases can be accidentally confused with coin ingestions, as the encasing around the batteries can obscure the "double halo" sign we usually look for with button batteries. This can cause severe damage to the esophagus within hours and requires emergent endoscopic removal. Fortunately, we have not had any cases to date in Nashville, but given how popular these toys have become and the increasing number of flimsy knock offs, we should all be on the lookout for this. Please be counseling your patient families about this potential danger.
Sample Letter to Parents:
Warning to families about the potential dangers of the popular "fidget spinners." Many of these toys have parts that pop off and can lead to choking. They may also contain button batteries that can cause severe damage to your child's intestinal tract in the span of a few hours, and possibly even death if not quickly diagnosed and removed.
If your children are playing with fidget spinners, we recommend you take the following precautions:
1. Check for small parts. Anything with small parts (i.e. they can pass through the center of a toilet paper roll), or that can be broken into small parts, should be kept away from small children. Remember that little sisters and brothers often grab older siblings' toys, even if it wasn't bought with them in mind.
2. Get rid of broken toys
3. Supervise use of fidget spinners
4. Register to be alerted if your toy has been recalled at recalls.gov and report any product issues to saferproducts.gov.