A Texas mother was shocked when she noticed her daughter choking in the back seat of her car, and even more stunned to learn what she was choking on.
Kelly Rose Joniec took to Facebook, in a post that has since been made private, to share her story, and offer a warning to other parents after the terrifying ordeal:
On the way home from a fun swim meet, I heard Britton make an odd retching noise in the back seat as I was driving. Looking back in the mirror, I saw her face turning red and drool pouring from her mouth -- she could utter noises but looked panicked so I immediately pulled over. She pointed to her throat saying she'd swallowed something, so I attempted Heimlich but there was no resistance. She said she'd put part of her fidget spinner in her mouth to clean it and somehow swallowed it.
Joniec rushed her daughter to urgent care, where she was examined and ultimately underwent surgery to remove the object:
They couldn't discern where the foreign object was located -- along the airway or the esophagus. From there we got the red-light treatment via ambulance to Texas Children's Hospital. X-ray showed the spinner bushing lodged in her esophagus. The GI doctor was fascinated ... he'd only just learned of fidget spinners that morning when he was at the mall with his son, so it was a surprise to be faced with one in a case a few hours later. He's also an advocate for related child safety in toys, so he took a special interest in the case.
After multiple, very stressful attempts to place an IV, Britton was taken to surgery to endoscopically locate and remove the object. Fortunately we had a positive outcome, but it was pretty scary there for a while...not only because of the initial ingestion, but then the concern about the composition and structure of the object, and finally, the risk with general anesthesia.
Joniec warned parents at the end of her post, calling on them to be aware of fidget spinners and the risks they can pose.
"From this I wish to offer some word of caution to parents. Fidget spinners are the current craze so they are widely distributed. Kids of all ages may be getting them, but not all spinners come with age-appropriate warnings. The bushings pop out easily, so if you have young kids (under 8 yr old) keep in mind that these present a potential choking hazard," she wrote.
The story quickly went viral, with many expressing shock about the incident.
"She was a little old to be putting a toy in her mouth" one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page. "Glad she was ok."
"This is nothing new kids swallow stuff if YOU don't watch them,or put stuff out of reach," another added. "DUH!"