Yes. A child can be electrocuted by a phone charger. Additionally, children face the risk of electrical shock and burn injuries from chargers.
These nightmare scenarios terrify parents because most people would never consider a charger to pose such a deadly and dangerous threat to children’s safety. But the risk involved is real and parents must take it seriously.
Cell phones have become such a commonplace part of everyone’s daily lives that many people have let their guard down in terms of safety. It doesn’t even occur to people that a child can be electrocuted by a phone charger. Many of us don’t think twice about leaving our electronics out while charging while kids could easily grab the chargers and put themselves in serious danger.
This blog post is about why we should all start thinking twice – or even three times – about how we can protect a child from being electrocuted by a phone charger.
How to protecting a children from being electrocuted by a phone charger
Below are the steps parents can take to protect a child from being electrocuted from a phone charger:
- Do not allow children to talk on or otherwise use a cell phone while it is charging.
- Do not allow children to be near a charger that is plugged into an electrical outlet but is not plugged into a phone. The best course of action is to never leave charger plugged in when it is not connected to a phone.
- Do not use cheap, generic, knock-off chargers. Frequently, the lithium-ion batteries in these types of chargers will overheat. Additionally, there is a growing body of evidence showing that generic chargers are not subjected to the same safety and quality tests that branded chargers are. Therefore, it is recommended that parents only use a charger that was manufactured by the maker of their cell phone, i.e., OEM (original equipment manufacturer).
- Do not allow children to sleep with or fall asleep on a charger, especially if it is plugged into the wall but the “live” end is not plugged into a phone. The child will be at risk if the “live” happens to come into contact with anything metal, including jewelry.
- Do not allow a child to put any part of the charger in his or her mouth. If the charger happens to be plugged into an outlet (or another electronic device such as a laptop) and the charger cord is carrying electrical current, then the results could potentially be fatal.
- Do not allow a child to plug both ends of a charger into a power cord or electrical outlet. There have been reports of electrical shock injury suffered by children who attempted to plug the “live” end of a charger (i.e., the end that is supposed to attached to the phone) into a power strip when the “outlet” end of the charger was already plugged in.
- Do not use chargers whose cords are damaged or frayed.
- Do not charge your cell phone near water or where it could come into contact with water, especially if children have access to the area.
Do generic brand chargers pose a higher risk that a child can be electrocuted by a phone charger?
Yes, a generic branded charger poses a higher risk that a child can be electrocuted by a phone charger. A study by the American College of Emergency Physicians, “Generic mobile phone chargers escalate risk of burn, electrocution,” which was published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that:
- Lower-cost, generic chargers have the potential to cause electrocutions
- They are less likely to have met the safety and quality standards that name brand chargers do
- Teenagers and adolescents are at high risk of injury due to their frequent use of cell phones
- No one should sleep with their cell phones while the phones are charging
- No one should leave a charger plugged in when it’s not connected to a phone
If your child has been electrocuted or suffered an electrical shock as a result of a cell phone charger or if you have questions about what you can do to keep your child safe, please contact us for a free consultation. We are here to help.