With a new iPhone or games console coming out every year, it’s no secret that children today are growing up with far more gadgets than any generation before them, and there are some risk related to using and charging gadgets at home.
But just because kids are using more technology doesn’t necessarily make them ‘tech-savvy’. In fact, they could be unknowingly leaving themselves open to serious dangers, and parents should be aware of the risks.
In this guide, Sparks will inform you of the risk involved with using gadgets in the bedroom, and how accidents can be avoided.
Risks associated with kids having access to a multitude of devices
Children or teenagers could unwittingly be putting their lives (and yours) at risk with irresponsible use of electronics.
If they leave their device charging on the bed, use an unbranded charger or sleep with their phone under their pillow, then they are playing a very dangerous game.
When a device, such as a phone or a tablet, is left covered by bedding or under a pillow, there is nowhere for the generated heat to dissipate and it will become increasingly hot.
The heat caused by the device, combined with flammable materials, has the potential to cause a fire and put your home – or even lives – in danger.
Making sure the device is manufactured to the correct safety standards is important. Sparks provides a guide on how to spot if you have purchased a counterfeit electrical device.
Fake electrical items are especially dangerous, as they have not been made to meet UK safety regulations.
However, even well-made electronics can still become hazardous very quickly, if not charged on a table or similar safe environment.
Steps to take to ensure your children are using their devices safely
Electrical Safety First (ESF) offers brilliant advice regarding electrical safety at home – for people of all ages. Below is a list of safety tips for your children when they are using electronic devices in their bedrooms.
- Make sure laptops, phones, tablets and any other electrical devices are charged on a stable surface such as a desk or table.
- Do not charge phones, tablets or any electrical device on your bed, under a pillow or anywhere the device might overheat.
- Avoid leaving any devices to charge unattended, especially overnight.
- Don’t let leads from your electrical items trail across the floor.
- Ensure your children keep their rooms tidy and dust free. Obstructions such as clothes or game consoles, for instance, can cause vents to get blocked. This will cause the device to overheat and catch on fire.
- Make sure your family gets into the routine of switching off electronic games, computers, TVs and other electric appliances before they go to bed.
- Don’t use or let children use fake or unbranded chargers. Many of these chargers do not meet UK safety regulations and can cause serious electric shock, injury or fire.
- Regularly check your plugs, sockets and cables for signs of damage or scorching. Do not stretch cables across distances too long for them.
- Do not overload electric plug sockets – this could prove dangerous. If you’re not sure if your socket is overloaded you can check on the ESF calculator.
- Make sure you don’t leave drinks or other liquids on or near electric appliances.
- After bathing or showering, children should fully dry themselves off before using any electrical device. Water and electricity are a fatal combination.
- Make sure your children know how to use electricity and electric appliances responsibly and safely. The Electrical Safety First website is a great resource to educate them on these issues.
How to ensure your kid remains ‘tech-savvy’ in regards to electrical safety
Over 30 accidental deaths tragically occur in the UK due to electrical shocks and fires.
You will rest more easily if both you and your family have the proper know-how when it comes to safe electrical practice.
Watch this informative video from Two Thirty Volts below as a family.
It shows a girl named Ali going about her day to day life and interacting with her family. See if you can spot any mistakes she makes whilst using electronics at home.
As you can see from the video, it was not just Ali making mistakes when it came to electrical safety! Her mother left the cable of the iron stretched across the stove in the kitchen, which of course, could start a fire.
So, whatever your age, you need to remain aware of how you handle your electrical appliances. It is far too easy to feel relaxed and safe at home – this is when you could make a fatal mistake.
However, there are plenty of resources to keep you well-informed and safe.
Electrical Safety First is a great resource for people of all ages. Meanwhile ‘Switched on Kids’ is aimed at younger children, and explains the basics of electrical safety in very simple terms.