Fidget spinners: necessity or distraction?

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. "Fidget spinners" have quickly become a popular tool for students of all ages that many say helps them keep concentrated on their work. While some schools have already started banning them in the classroom and some doctors say there are students who may actually need them.

These gadgets are only about the size of your palm, but can still serve as a big distraction at school. However, students with attention disorders from ADHD to autism can benefit from fidget spinners.

It's a tricky balance between students actually needing them and having them for fun, so are they really something needed in the classroom?

"I do think there's these are a good utility or function for children who tend to get distracted easily," says Tracy Jones, a pediatrician at Sanford.

Fidget spinners can be a tool to help those with attention disorders. It keeps their minds on tasks, like homework assignments, listening to the teacher and any kinds of testing.

It's also a less distracting option than others.

"When I was in high school, some of my classmates would tap pens on their desk and that was a little distracting to hear noise. What I think is great about these fidget spinners is that they're quiet," explains Brittany Kuehn, an associate at Once Upon A Child.

Fidget spinners are an option for children as well as adults. Stores see quite a few parents, grandparents and college students looking at fidget cubes. These have five different options on each of the cube's side to help with distraction.

Doctors in the area are happy to report they haven't seen any injuries yet, but assume there have been with kids learning fancy tricks.

So overall, are these devices something parents should look into for children with attention disorders?

"It's an easy option for families to investigate and utilize if their kids find it helpful in school," says Jones.

There are studies out there showing fidget spinners as a helpful tool for those having issues with paying attention and on task. While it may be a 'must-have' right now, many see them being replaced by something else next school year.

There are quite a few stores that sell these toys from anywhere from $5-30, but they are hard to keep on the shelf. So if you have to have one right now, buying online might be your best option.