Fidget spinners has become a sensation in US and it is making its way to India. Fidget spinners are known to be a stress relieving toy. It is been marketed as a useful product to reduce anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and increase concentration. Marketers also claim that it is of great use therapies related to in autism, quitting bad habits and insomnia. In last few months they have gained huge popularity in US and other western countries. And it has been marketed in India as well, psychiatrists in Mumbai have warned against its use without verifying its medically proven credentials.
Commenting on the utility of the fidget spinners, Dr Milan Balkrishnan, a renowned psychiatrist in Mumbai said, “I don’t recommend the use of such products. There is no scientific study to prove their benefits. Without verifying it such products should not be marketed”
According to experts, the phenomenon of fidget spinners is not new. Similar products have been in practice for the therapies related to mental health. The sudden rise of fidget spinners’ popularity has generated two countering point of views. “One point of view propagates its utility as a stress relieving and concentration improving toys. While, other raises question on its fundamental purpose.” said Dr Heena Merchant, ex-secretary Bombay Psychiatric Society.
A fidget spinner has a stable middle and a disc with two or three paddles that can be spun, much like a ceiling fan, to relax the user. Also they are multicolour tools. “Such arrangement may cause more distraction. In such scenario it may not be helpful in concentrating. Thus it may negate its fundamental purpose. Hence we should not make decision of its use without cross checking its benefits scientifically,” added Dr Heena Merchant.
“Before using these toys, their dos and don’ts should be taught to children. Children should be professional guidance for the use. Otherwise it may cause more harm than the good,” said Dr Heena Merchant.
In western countries these toys have been allowed in schools in order to help students increase their concentration. Experts emphasize need of its usage after training them properly. A number of few schools in the certain states in the US have banned them as they create and unnecessary distraction.
In Houston, Texas (U.S.A) an incident of 10-year-old swallowing one of the bearings from her fidget spinner came into light. The girl had to be operated in order to remove the piece. Her mother wrote a Facebook post warning fidget spinner craze.