How Fidget Spinners Improve Your Health, … Or Not

The annoying toys kids carry everywhere are more than a craze. Fidget spinners are good for you, and may actually improve your health. The three-pronged spinning sensation may help spin away the blues of ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

When a product reaches craze stage people tend to love or hate the creator for the effect the product has on societal norms. Interestingly, Catherine Hettinger invented the product more than 2 decades ago, and she isn’t receiving a penny of the profits. Hettinger was sidelined earlier this year when her patent expired. She is mobilizing investors and has a Kickstarter campaign for the original circular version found on her website:

I am completely calling out the naysayers first. Yes, there is a risk of lead, there is a risk of swallowing small parts, and a 5-year old swallowed a part of the spinning fun. There’s an 11-year-old in Texas who swallowed part of the anxiety-minimizing device. I bet that incident caused a whole lot of anxiety.

I’m a mom. I get your concern. I completely relate. I tested the device. As I write this I have a 5- and an 11-year-old. I purchased a fidget spinner because my mom sent one as a gift to her granddaughter. I think the device has appeal. I have watched my oldest daughter explore the device and I want to explore it myself. It looks fun. As my 5-year-old begs to “play” I place the spinning device in her hand and see that it doesn’t fit. Her hand is not big enough to hold the device and let it spin freely. I know my child, and I know that if she cannot use a device for its intended purpose she will get creative, and use it in another way.

I pray for the boy who swallowed a part of the spinning device, after being warned by his mother that another child swallowed a piece, was shown photos and warned not to do so. I hope he heals quickly from his surgery, and he dispelled every warning not to misuse the device.

Let’s speak to the 11-year-old. God bless Texas and the 11-year-old. She may have been cleaning the device, as the mom stated when she swallowed a piece. Shouldn’t an 11-year-old know better? I have one, myself – an 11-year-old that is. If she swallows the piece, I will do the Heimlich maneuver, and get any medical help necessary. It begs the question: shouldn’t she know better? (I daresay mine does.)

Moms are calling foul and demanding the toy be pulled from shelves. The toy, after all is literally unfit for child consumption.

As a mom, I will be completely horrified to see my child turn red, blue, or any other color due to the threat of a toy. The problem in these cases is that the toy isn’t at fault. The child and the parent are at fault. If a 5-year-old is handed an inappropriate toy for his or her age, she might swallow it. If an 11-year-old investigates the science behind said toy, decides to clean it, and inadvertently swallows a piece, while cleaning it in her mouth, she might get hurt. (NOTE: I’d recommend cleaning it in the sink, instead of the mouth.)

fidget spinnerThe “toy” I bought for $8.65 today was in packaging that says for 6+. There’s no way fidget spinnersI will hand it to my 5-year-old, whose hand it does not fit, without adult supervision.  How about the 11-year-old? I would hand it to my 11-year-old, and walk away, without question. If she swallows it, I will call her actions into question, not those of the “toy”.


What about the claim to health?

ADHD and Sensory Disorders

Because you likely are an adult, we’re calling in the experts, to see how these devices act in your hands. Interesting, that experts are called in to give testimony on a device starts at around $5, and can be found on Amazon for up to $100. My Amazon affiliate link shows an average of around $10.

According to this Newsweek report, experts are “skeptical” as to whether or not adults or anyone who has ADHD can be helped with the device. Okay. I get that. I appreciate experts, for their opinion, and I appreciate kids for their real-life skills, and the “street” knowledge they bring to real-life situations.

Thank you, experts, for your knowledge, your degrees, and your valuable questionable insight. You can’t make a firm decision. You may exit stage right.

Enter teachers, who know kids, how they act, and whose jobs depend on the scores of tests of said students.

Kids at schools learn and test better when they have fidget spinners. Yes, I hear you. But … schools everywhere are banning them. It’s not because they don’t have a purpose. Students who have devices have thrown them, used them as toys, balanced them on their thumb in the middle of a presentation, and otherwise misused said device. Great! Those are the actions that have disrupted classrooms, learning, and caused fidget spinners to be banned in various schools across the country.

What if fidget spinners are used for their purpose, not for tricks…?

The package says they are stress gear. What if they are used under the desk, to calm students with ADHD, sensory, and anxiety disorders?

A random sampling of teachers across grades at my daughter’s elementary school, where fidget spinners were banned, says that fidget spinners work. They relax students and help them perform better academically.  I say again … fidget spinners work. Faculty members admit to playing with the confiscated items.

The problem comes in when students use them as toys instead of stress gear, as the packaging suggests.

I am not suggesting anyone give up their medications for severe ADHD, anxiety, or depression.

A whole slew of questions remain:

  • In mild situations that raise the blood pressure, can a fidget spinner help?
  • Will you let your kids use a fidget spinner?
  • What age is appropriate?
  • As an adult will you discreetly slip a fidget spinner in your pocket before an important board meeting, or spin it at an interview?

Overall, kids love them, adults don’t get them, and all the same, I am enthralled. I am excited about the next spin. The one I bought today is glowing in the dark. If I leave it bedside tonight will it act as a night light?

This adult loves them too:

Is a fidget spinner a light, a craze, a trend, a fad, or something that improves your health?

Let me know in the comments. Before you comment, won’t you give one a spin?

Finally, won’t you use the sharing buttons to share this with someone who loves or hates a fidget spinner?

Controversy aside, fidget spinners are fun. After all, Pokemon is still popular.

Click to tweet and share the humorous fun.