Toys or Medicine: Do Spinners Have a Medical or Therapeutic Benefit?

What do spinners do and what were they designed for?
Recently, more and more children and adolescents have been playing with a so-called fidget spinner. This toy has now become a real fad. But what is the story behind this toy? What were the spinners actually designed for?

Are spinners useful for certain diseases or are spinners just a toy without any medical and therapeutic significance? Physicians at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital have now released a press release on the results of their investigation into so-called fidget spinners.

What is a spinner?
Almost every child in this country now has a fidget spinner. These spinners have a ball bearing in the middle and usually two or three wings, which are equipped with weights. These weights can also consist of ball bearings. If, for example, the spinner is held in the middle on a finger and set in rotation, it turns very quickly and for a long time.

Some spinners contain harmful chemicals, paints and lubricants
The spinners have become a big fashion trend, which is why companies try to produce these toys as cheaply and quickly as possible. This often affects quality, say the experts. The spinners are made of plastic, metal and ball bearings. The doctors emphasize that there are big differences in the chemicals and lubricants used in the manufacturing process. The colors used could also be harmful to our children's health, the authors continued.

Why were spinners developed?
Many people suspect that the spinners were originally invented to help people with ADHD, autism, or developmental delays. But how much truth is there behind these assumptions? Fidget spinners were never actually designed as medical aids or medical devices, the scientists emphasize. This assumption is based solely on intelligent marketing (especially on the Internet) for the product.

Spinners offer a soothing stimulation for every user
Repetitive behavior can often be observed in children with developmental delays. The children affected are often given a special toy with a developmental delay, which they use for stress relief and a certain form of distraction, say the doctors. Such children usually carry the special toy with them, no matter where they go. In emergency rooms, children with a developmental delay often also receive toys that move, click, squeak or light up, the experts explain. Spinners offer a similarly calming stimulation for users. However, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that they can help treat ADHD.

Spinners distract users and children nearby
Fidget spinners are quite a distraction, but not only for their users, but also for all children nearby. This is certainly the main reason why many schools ban the toy, the scientists suspect.

Are there any safety risks when using spinners?
Most manufacturers say the spinners are safe for children ages eight and up. Because the toys contain small parts that can be swallowed by children. Especially with cheap and incorrectly produced spinners, it is possible for children to break them and get to the small parts.

Spinners should never be used under the age of five
Under no circumstances should spinners be given to children under the age of five, as this group is at greatest risk of suffocation, the doctors emphasize. Parents should also educate their children about the risks that arise when the spinner breaks and the small parts are exposed. (as)

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