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A Texas mom is speaking out after her 10-year-old daughter accidentally swallowed a piece of a popular toy known as a fidget spinner.


Kelly Rose Joniec posted on Facebook that she was driving when her daughter Britton started making retching noises in the back seat of the car.

She quickly determined that the Heimlich maneuver wouldn’t help and rushed her child to urgent care, where doctors couldn’t locate the object.

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An X-ray at a hospital soon after revealed that the child had swallowed a quarter-sized piece of the fidget spinner and that it was lodged in her esophagus.

Here’s what the mother wrote about the scary situation on Facebook:

We had a pretty eventful Saturday.

On the way home from a fun swim meet, I heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat as I was driving. 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. She pointed to her throat saying she’d swallowed something, so I attempted Heimlich but there was no resistance. She said she’d put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow swallowed it.

Frantic, I went straight to urgent care where they checked her for choking. They couldn’t discern where the foreign object was located – along the airway or the esophagus. From there we got the red-light treatment via ambulance 🚑 to Texas Children’s Hospital. X-ray showed the spinner bushing lodged in her esophagus. 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.

After multiple, very stressful attempts to place an IV, Britton was taken to 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.

From this 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. The bushings pop out easily, so if you have young kids (under 8 yr old) keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard.

[Sidenote: I certainly wasn’t looking for an excuse to tour the brand new Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands but this was a pretty effective way. Staff was great and the facility is very nice…but a little quiet on Saturday afternoons.]

To say that parents are on high alert about the fidget spinner might not do it justice.

Joniec’s post has been shared more than 790,000 times.

Why the child decided to “put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it” we don’t know, but thankfully this story had a happy ending, as surgery was successful.

Matt Naham About the author:
Matt Naham is the Weekend Editor  for Rare. Follow him on Twitter @matt_naham.
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