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The popular toys known as fidget spinners are incredibly simple — a few small blades that whirl around a center core — but some manufacturers have touted them as therapeutic, claiming they can be used to relieve symptoms of attention disorders, autism, and anxiety.

The evidence, however, just isn’t there. There haven’t been any thorough studies to evaluate the toys’ effect on those conditions. And experts warn that for some kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the spinners might be a harmful distraction.


“Things that are routine or have some demand, it’s much harder for children with ADHD to be able to pay attention. And so, [the spinner] may well make things worse for them,” said Dr. Mark Wolraich, a behavioral pediatrician at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center.

Find out more about fidget spinners — and the medical claims made about them — in our video.

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