Children's Hospital Colorado

Fidget Spinner and Other Ingested Foreign Objects (S1:E7)

Fidget spinners and high-powered magnets are among the latest and most ubiquitous swallowed objects in children.

While the components of fidget spinners already present a choking risk, many now have LED lights powered by button batteries. Primary care physicians need to be aware of the threat posed by button batteries and toy magnets, which can both have catastrophic effects when swallowed.

Listen to our pediatric gastroenterologist discuss the ingestion of objects in children

The ingestion of magnets in children is not limited to toddlers. We also see adolescents using these powerful, ball-shaped magnets to mimic piercings in their ears, noses and mouths, leading to accidental ingestion.

If parents believe their child may have swallowed batteries or magnets, they need to immediately seek emergency care. It is critical to remove the object as fast as possible. In this episode, Robert Kramer, MD, talks about the dangers of swallowed objects in children and a recent case involving swallowed fidget spinner parts.

Dr. Kramer is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital Colorado and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In today's episode, we discuss:

  • Recent cases of ingested fidget spinner parts
  • The dangers of an ingested battery in children
  • Why magnets represent a special threat to kids
  • The age groups most affected by accidental ingestion of objects
  • Recent cases of swallowed battery in children
  • How to manage batteries ingested into the gastrointestinal tract
  • The types of injuries batteries can cause to the esophagus, heart and more
  • The importance of getting batteries out quickly after ingestion

Treatment for foreign object ingestion at Children's Colorado

Children who have swallowed dangerous objects such as button batteries or magnets require emergency pediatric care. At Children's Colorado, our multidisciplinary team includes pediatric surgeons, cardiologists and gastroenterologists to remove the object, repair internal injuries and provide comprehensive follow-up care. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.