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What you need to know about Fidget Spinners

Posted: 2:07 PM, Apr 29, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-01 18:15:22-04

Move over Hatchimal! Fidget spinners are apparently the new toy that have kids begging their parents to hunt one down.

The spinners are designed to be stress relievers and they're all the rage right now with kids from elementary to high school. Many people, including teachers, claim they're causing distractions.

A fidget spinner is a small toy that can be spun between a user's thumb and middle finger. The devices have quickly gained popularity, with many sellers running out quickly. Some sellers, on sites like Amazon, claim the colorful toys "bring out the genius" by helping users to focus and reduce stress.

There are also claims fidget spinners can help relieve ADHD anxiety, but some teachers are calling the gadgets distractions in the classroom and posting their frustrations on social media.

WFTX spoke with a counselor at Elite DNA Therapy to find out if fidget spinners really do serve any benefits.

"It just keeps kids involved," said Clinton Greene of Elite DNA Therapy. "It keeps them in their seat. It allows them to focus on something besides the anxieties that they're dealing with at the time."

Greene says he has suggested Fidget Spinners and similar gadgets to clients with anxiety and ADHD.

"The fidget cube or fidget spinner can help those with ADHD by just allowing them to kind of put out some of the sensors that they have and focus it more on something they can hold in their hand and look towards," Greene said.

Greene says parents who choose to purchase a spinner for their child to take to school should make sure the child understands the purpose behind it so it doesn't become a distraction.

"I could see a kid throwing across the room or passing it around to other students that's why it's important for parents to explain the purpose behind them," he said.

There are claims of the fidget spinners to help children with autism. Greene says he would need more empirical evidence that it helps clients with autism before becoming a proponent for it.

Fidgets have been selling quickly across southwest Florida. Superstores, drug stores, and gas stations carry the inexpensive toy. One Florida store owner told WFTX they sold about 50 spinners in a couple hours.

"People are buying three at a time," said Brad McIntire of Gadget Guys Cell Phone and Tablet Repair. "We are expecting a shipment of a thousand more for this weekend."