When Kelly Joniec was driving her daughter, Britton, home from a Saturday swim meet, she heard an "odd retching noise" from the back seat.
"Looking back in the mirror, I saw her face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth — she could utter noises but looked panicked so I immediately pulled over," Kelly wrote on Facebook. "She pointed to her throat saying she'd swallowed something, so I attempted Heimlich but there was no resistance."
The 10-year-old had put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow swallowed it. Frantic, Kelly drove Britton to an urgent care center, but they couldn't tell if the foreign object was stuck in her airway or esophagus. "From there we got the red-light treatment via ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital. The X-ray showed the spinner bushing lodged in her esophagus," Kelly shared. "The GI doctor was fascinated . . . he'd only just learned of fidget spinners that morning when he was at the mall with his son, so it was a surprise to be faced with one in a case a few hours later. He's also an advocate for related child safety in toys, so he took a special interest in the case."
Britton was taken for surgery to endoscopically locate and remove the object. "Fortunately we had a positive outcome, but it was pretty scary there for a while . . . not only because of the initial ingestion, but then the concern about the composition and structure of the object, and finally, the risk with general anesthesia," Kelly wrote.
From her family's experience with this popular toy, Kelly has some advice for other moms and dads. "I wish to offer some word of caution to parents. Fidget spinners are the current craze so they are widely distributed. Kids of all ages may be getting them, but not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings," she wrote. "The bushings pop out easily, so if you have young kids (under 8 years old) keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard."