Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 48, Issue 11, pp 1584–1592 | Cite as

Radiographic appearance and clinical significance of fidget spinner ingestions

  • Marla B. K. Sammer
  • J. Herman Kan
  • Marcus D. Sammer
  • Lane F. Donnelly
Original Article



According to anecdotal press reports, there have been medically significant ingestions of fidget spinner toys, including ingestions that required endoscopic intervention. Fidget spinners have been marketed to improve attention and have been suggested as a therapeutic alternative to medications in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


To describe the radiographic appearance and features of ingested fidget spinner components. To evaluate clinical significance via rates of endoscopic intervention, incidence in patients on ADHD medications, and mean age compared to other accidental foreign body ingestions.

Materials and methods

A nested retrospective case control study analyzed pediatric accidental foreign body ingestions identified via electronic medical record search between March 1, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2018. Radiographic identifiability, component type and maximum diameter of ingested fidget spinner components were described. A nested cohort of non-fidget spinner ingestions between May 1 and Aug. 31, 2017, was compared with the fidget spinner ingestions for rates of endoscopic intervention (a), concomitant use of ADHD medication (b) and mean age (c) using the Fisher exact test (a and b) and independent samples t-test (c).


There were 1,095 unintentional foreign body ingestions. Ten were ingested fidget spinner component ingestions. Eight of the 10 ingested components were radiographically identifiable. Compared with the nested cohort of non-fidget spinner ingestions, fidget spinner ingestions were more likely to undergo endoscopic intervention (P=0.009, 5/10 fidget spinner ingestions vs. 54/383 other ingestions). Fidget spinner patients were more likely to be on ADHD medication (P=0.011, 2/10 fidget spinners vs. 5/383 other). Fidget spinner mean patient age was significantly older than other ingestions (P=0.015, mean: 7.1 years fidget spinner ingestions vs. 4.0 years for other ingestions).


Compared with other foreign body ingestions, patients who ingested fidget spinner components were more likely to undergo endoscopic intervention, had a higher rate of ADHD medication use and were older. Familiarity with the radiographic appearance of ingested fidget spinner components is important for patient management.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Children Endoscopy Fidget spinner Foreign body Ingestion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest



  1. 1.
    Google Trends. Accessed 7 December 2017
  2. 2.
    Holland K (2017) Are fidget spinners healthy for kids? Healthline. Accessed 7 December 2017
  3. 3.
    Sarver DE, Rapport MD, Kofler MJ et al (2015) Hyperactivity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): impairing deficit or compensatory behavior? J Abnorm Child Psychol 43:1219–1232CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hartanto TA, Krafft CE, Losif AM et al (2016) A trial-by-trial analysis reveals more intense physical activity is associated with better cognitive control performance in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Neuropsychol 22:618–626CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schecter RA, Shah J, Fruitman K et al (2017) Fidget spinners: purported benefits, adverse effects and accepted alternatives. Curr Opin Pediatr 29:616–618CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zimmer A (2017) Schools ban fidget spinner toy, except for therapy use, as craze sweeps NYC. DNAinfo. Accessed 7 December 2017
  7. 7.
    Strauss V (2017) Schools are banning fidget spinners, calling them nuisances and even dangerous. The Washington Post. Accessed 7 December 2017
  8. 8.
    Method for identifying toys and other articles intended for use by children under 3 years of age which present choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazards because of small parts. 16 Code of Federal Regulations § 1501 (2018)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Khalaf RT, Gurevich Y, Marwan AI et al (2018) Button battery powered fidget spinners: a potentially deadly new ingestion hazard for children. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 66:595–597CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Otjen JP, Mitchell RM, Menashe SJ et al (2018) Novel ingested foreign bodies-a fidget spinner case report. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tipnis NA, Ciecierega T (2018) Fidget spinner ingestion. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 66:e111–e112CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Koo J, Tamura DY (2017) Fidget spinner battery-LED unit ingestion in a 13-month-old boy. Clin Pediatr 57:857–860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    R Core Team (2017) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  14. 14.
    Arana A, Hauser B, Hachimi-Idrissi S et al (2001) Management of ingested foreign bodies in childhood and review of the literature. Eur J Pediatr 160:468–472CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Uyemura MC (2005) Foreign body ingestion in children. Am Fam Physician 72:287–291PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Votteler TP, Nash JC, Rutledge JC (1983) The hazard of ingested alkaline disk batteries in children. JAMA 249:2504–2506CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Litovitz T, Whitaker N, Clark L (2010) Preventing battery ingestions: an analysis of 8648 cases. Pediatrics 125:1178–1183CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Kramer RE, Lerner DG, Lin T et al (2015) Management of ingested foreign bodies in children: a clinical report of the NASPGHAN endoscopy committee. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 60:562–574CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Litovitz T, Whitaker N, Clark L et al (2010) Emerging battery-ingestion hazard: clinical implications. Pediatrics 125:1168–1177CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Buerkle AM (2017) Statement from acting chairman Ann Marie Buerkle regarding fidget spinners. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Accessed 7 December 2017
  21. 21.
    Fidget Spinner Business Guidance. United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Accessed 7 December 2017
  22. 22.
    Ammar MS, Pfefferkorn MD, Croffie JM et al (2003) Complications after outpatient upper GI endoscopy in children: 30-day follow-up. Am J Gastroenterol 98:1508–1511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Ramamoorthy C, Haberkern CM, Bhananker SM et al (2007) Anesthesia-related cardiac arrest in children: update from the pediatric perioperative cardiac arrest registry. Anesth Analg 105:344–350CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tait AR, Voepel-Lewis T, Burke C et al (2008) Incidence and risk factors for perioperative adverse respiratory events in children who are obese. Anesthesiology 108:375–380CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Glatz P, Sandin RH, Pedersen NL et al (2017) Association of anesthesia and surgery during childhood with long-term academic performance. JAMA Pediatr 171:e163470CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyTexas Children’s HospitalHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Lucile Packard Children’s HospitalStanford UniversityPalo AltoUSA

Personalised recommendations