February 15, 2019 by John Fernandez and Tanya Racoobian
Fidget Spinners: Help or Hype? (Video)
They’re the latest craze for kids sweeping across the country – fidget spinners. Millions of the three-pronged gadgets with bearings that make them spin are being sold and keeping kids’ — and even some adults’ — hands busy. Their popularity has risen so much that retailers can’t keep them in stock.
(Video: The Baptist Health News Team hears from Tania Diaz-Fernandez, occupational therapist at South Miami Hospital Child Development Center, about fidget spinners. Video by Dylan Kyle)
Fueling sales of the spinners are marketing claims that the devices help ease stress and are even “perfect for attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and autism,” according to one of the manufacturers. However, there’s no scientific evidence that proves fidget spinners are helping address these issues.
“If a child is a real fidgeter, the strategy for finding what tool will help has to be individualized,” said Tania Diaz-Fernandez, an occupational therapist at the South Miami Hospital Child Development Center. “There are some children who can benefit from a fidget spinner to help them focus. But, unfortunately, since so many kids have them now, that one child who needs one may not be able to have it in the classroom.”
Approximately 11 percent of children ages 4 to 17 have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In classrooms across the country, many teachers are saying the spinners are more of a distraction than a benefit. A recent survey of 200 of the largest schools in the U.S. found 32 percent of them have banned fidget spinners.
The Baptist Health News Team visited the experts at the South Miami Hospital Child Development Center to learn more. Watch the video now.