Tag: child safety

Watch Your Mouth: A New Standard in Child Safety

Two days ago we officially launched Geddy’s Mom, thereby creating a new standard in electrical safety. 

The response has been tremendous; with support from leaders in safety, unpaid declarations and excitement from influencers and organizations, media attention, and earning the 2021 Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval. And we’ve only been live for just over 48 hours. But it’s been a long journey, complicated by an unprecedented reality.

Everything that goes along with creating a product and launching a business is difficult at baseline. Doing this during a pandemic with limited resources has absolutely steepened the climb.

My personal determination has been, in all honesty, driven by fear. While many of you are aware that this is not the first business I have started, you are probably not aware that I promised myself I would never venture into entrepreneurial life again.  

Safety award badges

As a mom and dentist, the visceral reaction I experienced when I saw my son suck on a plugged-in charger was something I simply could not ignore. The long term neurological implications of this injury was something that concerned by husband.

Why did this charger not injure my child as it had done to others? Why couldn’t we find any safety device to protect against this hazard? And why were we as a society ok with this new normal of leaving current-filled wires throughout our homes around our pets and children, for the sake of convenience? Ubiquity does not imply safety. Children and adults alike are being injured, furniture burned, and yes, some lives lost. The hazard has simply been overlooked.

The gold standard has been read to me on repeat “unplug, place charger in a safe space, replace outlet cover”. But no one is acknowledging the reality that it’s simply too much of a behavioral disturbance to expect parents to do that. 

All I wanted was a safety device to mitigate this hazard to our son in our home. But nothing existed. So we made it. But mitigating the hazard in our home to our child just wasn’t enough. 

We created something I’m very proud of and something I know will make an impact in home safety standards. With Work From Home and Virtual Education, exposure to injury by plugged-in chargers is at its height – I am proud, relieved, and happy to announce that ‘Watch Your Mouth’, our USB charger safety cover, is now available online to protect our little ones from electrocution injury by a plugged-in USB charger.

Sarah Shell, DDS – CEO & Co-Founder, Geddy’s Mom LLC

Results from Study on Charger-Causing Electrocution Burn

This study was performed by Dr. Sarah Shell on September 17th, 2020. The study was based on data collected by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS data is collected via a select sample of 100 hospital Emergency rooms throughout the country and is statistically significant. Dr. Shell’s study limited the search to a narrow criteria, as per below.

Study Search Criteria

  • 2014-2019
  • NEISS Categories: 883, 550, 557
  • Age of victim: 0-5, 6-16, 16+
  • Location of Injury: Head/Neck/Upper/Lower
  • Hospital Diagnosis: Burns, Electric Shock
  • Disposition of victim at the time of diagnosis: All

All results were then filtered for cases where the injury was caused by a USB charger plugged into a power outlet but not a receptacle device. The component of the charger causing the injury narrowed to the charger’s connector end.

Study Results

Over the 5 years studied, there was an average of 6 incidents per year in 100 hospitals. As per above, incidents were narrowed down to those caused by USB Chargers not plugged into their receptacle device but plugged into a power outlet and occurring at the charger connector (the end that plugs into the phone/computer/etc). All other incidents involving USB chargers were discarded. Results show over half of the incidents were children 0-5 years old. Degree of injury in age group 0-5 years ranged from minor electrical burn to second-degree electrical burn and location of injury was most prominently the orofacial region, including the tongue, as well as the hands/digits.

Discussion of Results

These results were recorded from 100 hospitals that work with NEISS to provide data. While they are obligated to report on incidents to NEISS, having worked in hospitals as doctors ourselves, we are confident that environmental conditions and communication breakdown, as well as a lack of incentive, limit the reporting of incidents. Therefore, we believe the number of incidences at these hospitals to be much higher than reported. Furthermore, the database underestimates actual injuries as they only include victims treated in these 100 emergency rooms. More minor incidences involve a visit to non-emergency medical professionals or a phone consultation on at-home treatment management.

Additionally, as there are currently 6,146 hospitals in the United States (as per AHA.org), we can extrapolate an annual average number of incidents in the USA that fall into our exact specification of injury to be 369 annual incidents (at the very least due to limitations in reporting), of which 207 occur to children 0-5 years old. See below for how we arrived at these numbers.

(6146 total hospitals/100 hospitals from which these incidents are recorded) x 6 avg annual incidents = 369

56% of this total over 6 years were injury to children 0-5 years old: 369/0.56 = 207.

Dr. Shell’s Commentary

These are significant results. To put those numbers in to perspective, as we present this, in the US there are currently 281 cases of Multi-Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) in children 0-5 caused by Covid-19. Which is very significant. While MIS-C cases are in the press everywhere right now, the significant injury to young children caused by plugged-in chargers, in all their ubiquity, continue to reside under the radar of conversation and education.

An underestimated 207 annual trips to the hospital. Countless non-emergent visits and home-treatments. The potential for disfiguring injury.

It is so easily and inexpensively preventable.

Dr. Sarah Shell
Co-Founder, Inventor, Researcher
Geddy’s Mom LLC

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Geddy’s Mom’s Purpose Aligns with Leaders in Electrical Safety

In our mission to turn up the volume on this conversation about the safety hazards associated with live chargers in the home, we found a soapbox and a microphone with the Communications, Cable & Connectivity Association (CCCA).

Communications, Cable & Connectivity Association

If you haven’t heard of the CCCA, it’s only because you’re not listening. When CCCA isn’t educating consumers, contractors, or law enforcement on the increasing hazards of cables, especially counterfeit and generic, they are front and center in both bodies of the Chamber of Congress pushing for higher standards in online marketplaces. Their goal is to protect Americans against counterfeit products and unidentifiable sellers that inevitably expose consumers to health and safety concerns, as these products are untraceable and unregulated. (Read SHOP SAFE Act and INFORM Consumer Act)

According to David Kiddoo, Executive Dirrector of CCCA, chargers plugged in to a power source but not in to their receptacle device, leaving the charger lead free “can release electrical current to an unintended source, such as skin, jewelry or mouth contact, creating devastating life safety implications…”

Geddy’s Mom and the CCCA

We were thrilled to learn of the existence of the CCCA and their concern over the risks and consequences involved in the evolving need for household connectivity and communications access and the powering of devices that provide this access. With the Work From Home (WFH) measures as a result of Covid-19, this need for connectivity in the household has never been greater. Mr. David Kiddoo, Executive Director of the CCCA agrees that these new core necessities, coupled with the infusion of counterfeit, generic, substandard, or malfunctioning chargers, leaves our households in a vulnerable state: “cables and chargers produced using deficient manufacturing processes and substandard materials pose a serious safety risk”.

He goes on to say that chargers plugged into a power source but not into their receptacle device, leaving the charger lead free “can release electrical current to an unintended source, such as skin, jewelry, or mouth contact, creating devastating life safety implications. This can potentially lead to loss of life or life-threatening injury”. And this is where a conversation between Geddy’s Mom co-founder Dr. Sarah Shell and CCCA’s Executive Director David Kiddoo, got interesting.

Dr. Shell discussed with Mr. Kiddoo the existence of those worst-case scenarios and injuries she has researched and what led her and Dr. Eric Cohen to create a solution to this problem. Drs Shell and Cohen created a device targeted towards child safety, but applicable to general household safety. This device, called Watch Your Mouth, encapsulates the charger lead with a non-conductive barrier to mitigate the risks associated with the ubiquitous plugged-in charger head from coming in contact with skin, metal, or most worrisome, a child’s mouth.

What Mr. Kiddoo and Dr. Shell recognized is that their end-goal is the same: to reduce the opportunity for electrical-related hazards in a household. While the CCCA is working hard to reduce the chance that a hazardous item involved in communication cable or connectivity enters the household, Geddy’s Mom is in the household mitigating the hazard that might already be present.

We at Geddy’s Mom rest easier knowing that CCCA exists and is fighting for our health and safety, and we feel very privileged to have their support and encouragement, as well as their acknowledgment that our Watch Your Mouth device is a solution to a mundane but serious life safety issue.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Government Site-Based Research on Charger Injury: Impactful Numbers, High Consequences

Saferproducts.gov is a publicly available information database under the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Reports are made voluntarily by the public, child care workers, health care workers, or government officials, on incidences with specific products involving injury, harm, or concern. The site also reports on product recalls in connection with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Brands have the opportunity to respond to complaints before they are posted online.

Charger Electric Shock Database

Geddy’s Mom Co-Founder Dr. Sarah Shell performed a search on saferproducts.gov involving USB chargers that caused injury to individuals. Criteria for this search included that the USB charger not be plugged in to a receptacle device but does remain plugged in to a power outlet. Location of charger that caused the harm was narrowed to the connector end (the free end).

Over a 3 year period, Geddy’s Mom’s search found 20 incidences, including 1 product recall. While this number may not seem glaring, recall that these reports are voluntarily made by consumers and require the knowledge as to where to report and how to report, as well as the time and effort involved in carrying out the reporting. They do not include data submitted from hospitals to NEISS (see our NEISS study results). Reporters do not receive benefits for reporting, aside from the knowledge that they are potentially protecting future consumers. Additionally, our search criteria was incredibly narrow. Therefore Dr. Cohen and Dr. Shell, co-founders of Geddy’s Mom, find this number and the specific reports themselves very impactful. See below for a description of some of the incidences reported.

Electric Shock Injury Reports

A 2019 case report involved an Anker USB-C charger purchased on amazon.com. The report states “the USB-C connector of a USB3-to-USBC cable heated, melted, and caught on fire while connected to an ordinary USB charger for mobile devices, which was plugged into an ordinary 120v electrical wall outlet. At the time, the cable was NOT connected to any device.” The victim was 17 years old. See images below that were attached to the case file:

A 2018 report from a 48 year old male victim reads “…the USB-C connector which interfaces with the phone fell to to the carpet which was normal”. He proceeded to explain how he continued his normal morning schedule but ran back to the charger when he smelled something concerning. He found “…the charger connector had melted and burned the carpet and was smoking. This is the Huawei factory charger which came with my Nexus 6P Phone”. See image to the right that the victim posted to the report:

A 2017 report by a 28 year old female states in regard to an Onn brand USB cable purchased at Walmart “…I accidentally touched the plug where it connects into my iPhone 7 Plus. It was BURNING hot.” The image she attached to the report is on the right.

NEISS Study Limitations

These reports would have been found in the NEISS study (summary of study in a previous blog post), had an injury resulted that required the victims to go to one of the 100 hospitals on the NEISS database, and the ER doctor have had the time and interest in recording it in the NEISS database.

Our research further substantiates the hazard of household USB chargers. The potential for harm and extent of harm is clearly identifiable based on these incident reports and the attached images.

Dr. Sarah Shell
Co-Founder, Inventor, and Researcher
Geddy’s Mom LLC

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Study Shows 99% of Chargers Failed Safety Tests

Most smartphone owners purchase their chargers online, many admitting to purchasing them on third-party marketplaces such as Amazon as their prices are far lower than the price of a charger direct from the manufacturer, such as Apple or Samsung. Bundle this with Apple’s claim that 90% of Apple chargers purchased on Amazon are counterfeit and we realize we can’t actually be certain of where our chargers were made and what, if any, safety requirements are being fulfilled.

Studies on the Safety of Counterfeit and Generic chargers

Surprisingly, there have only been two studies performed on the safety of counterfeit or generic chargers, but the two independent studies show shocking and very similar results. A UL study out of Canada tested 400 counterfeit chargers. Safety tests revealed 99% of the 400 chargers studied failed basic safety tests. Of these 400, 3 chargers passed, 22 chargers leaked current, and 12 had the capacity to cause electrocution. A smaller study out of the UK showed similar numbers with a 98% fail. Safety regulations require sufficient insulation of the wires within the charger in order to prevent current flow to an unintended source, overheating, or other forms of malfunction.

99% of the 400 chargers studied failed basic safety tests. Of these 400, 3 chargers passed, 22 chargers leaked current and 12 had the capacity to cause electrocution.

UL Study on Charger Safety

And it’s not only counterfeit chargers whose safety we need to be concerned about. Generic chargers are also often in the media, most recently Hey Day chargers were pulled off the shelves of Target for 14 safety incidents. The connector lead of their pretty USB chargers were overheating and burning holes in carpets/furniture/pillows. Branded chargers have even gone so far as to cover themselves for potential litigation. Apple now has a section in their website that advises against the connector lead of a plugged-in USB charger coming in contact with skin for an extended period of time, and suggest against placement of the connector in moist environments (like a child’s mouth!). In summary: USB charger hazards are omnipotent to USB chargers, though the risk vastly increases as brand reliability decreases.

Charger Use is Only Increasing

In today’s world, people are more dependent on their personal electronic devices, especially with Work From Home. They ask more out of their devices, and therefore out of their chargers. And so, these hazardous chargers remain ubiquitous in the home, left plugged-in between frequent charging for added convenience.

In my conversations with UL and the CCCA, it is clear that they are aware of the safety hazard of these USB chargers. While they continue to advocate for tighter measures on consumer safety, we at Geddy’s Mom continue to push for more educated measures when it comes to home safety and protecting your family.

From our perspective it’s simple. We can’t see inside your charger. So either unplug it between charges, or cover it with the only thing out there that was created to do so, a WATCH YOUR MOUTH device by Geddy’s Mom.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Mom Shows the Horrifying Risks of Keeping Your Phone Charger Around Kids

Courtney Davis speaks out on how her 19-month old daughter received a disfiguring burn to her mouth in a matter of seconds as a result of placing a plugged in phone charger in her mouth when mom wasn’t watching. This is disturbing yet easily avoidable. And is the only thing you need to see before making a change.

Either consistently unplug and safely put away your chargers when they aren’t charging your device, or cover the charger lead with a non-conducting non-choking device that will protect their skin, and yours. Read details of this mother’s journey.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Electrocution Burn, Flying Across the Room and Cardiac Arrhythmia – Cover Your Charger!

While our focus at Geddy’s Mom is on the trauma to a toddler, in our studies the breadth of potential injury to any individual who comes in contact with the active charger lead became abundantly clear. Unsuspecting owners may in fact have counterfeit charger brands plugged into their live outlets. They are not under the same safety scrutiny nor certification, and as a result, might lack appropriate safety insulation, spacing considerations, and therefore that unsuspecting owner had plugged into his/her wall an item that poses a significant risk. As you will read in this article, the simple act of falling asleep and rolling over onto the free end of a charger (the connector lead) can cause lifelong disfiguration or death. We simply can’t know what the inside of our chargers look like, we can’t predict a faulty product or a power surge, and if we don’t have the time and consideration to unplug it, please consider creating a barrier between the risk and the vulnerable by snapping on a WATCH YOUR MOUTH.

Off-Brand Charger Safety Investigations

Several companies that investigated off-brand chargers concluded that “the majority of the generic chargers fail basic safety testing, making them a higher risk for electrical injury,” the report says.

One such analysis of 400 generic smartphone chargers found that 99 percent of them were unsafe, with 22 of the chargers causing serious damage during the testing process.

Injuries caused by these chargers includes burns and electrocution. In one case study, a patient was propelled from his bed by an “electric current.”

In another, a 19-year-old was lying in bed with her charger plugged in. When the device came into contact with her chain necklace “she felt a sudden burning sensation and severe pain around her neck,” researchers report.

The jolt resulted in second-degree burns and dead tissue that had to be surgically removed from her wound. She was left with a permanent scar wrapping around the front of her neck.

Children have a Higher Risk of Electrical Burns

“Teens and adolescents are particularly at risk of injury due to their frequent mobile device use,” says lead study author Dr. Carissa Bunke, a pediatric resident at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The takeaway: don’t sleep with phones or mobile devices charging in bed and avoid leaving the charger plugged in when it is not connected to a phone.

“Even with a low-voltage device, if the current is high, then the electric shock can be severe,” Bunke says.

Severe cases could involve extensive tissue damage or deep burns that require skin grafts, the researchers find. Complications from these types of injuries include muscle breakdown, trouble breathing and irregular heart rhythm.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

“Electrical burns are an uncommon yet devastating class of burn injuries”

In discussing the hazards of USB chargers, we are most often met with two responses:

  1. Awareness and either a behavioral shift (unplugging and putting away) or placement of a Geddy’s Mom WATCH YOUR MOUTH on the free end.
  2. A push-back with the basis that low-voltage simply cannot create injury.

Electrical Burn Facts

Voltage, in relation to injury, is a misnomer. Current flow is what we are concerned about. A 2020 study published in the Elsevier Journal and the International Society for Burn Injuries amalgamated data from 2005-2018 on pediatric burn cases at the Shriners Hospital for Children. Their findings are below:

  • 81% of electric burns to the pediatric patients were from low voltage devices.
  • while prevalence is low, electrical injuries of this sort are often complex and devastating
  • previous studies have noted that “..young children are curious, lack awareness, and are often exposed to lower voltage domestic energy sources”.

Read the full study here.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Apple Support Warns Against Skin Contact

There should be a barrier between your child/pet/skin/furniture and the end of a charger that remains plugged in to its power source. Plain and simple. Extreme conditions need not exist for injury to occur, and no parent wants to subject their child to the possibility of trauma that can result if they place the charger in their mouth.

Current Safety Standards are Not Enough

Though iPhone brand chargers comply with secondary safety features that lower the risk of injury, Apple’s Support page maintains that “charging when moisture is present, can cause fire, electric shock, injury, or damage to iPhone or other property”… They also state that the user should “avoid prolonged skin contact with the charging cable and connector when the charging cable is connected to a power source because it may cause discomfort or injury. Sleeping or sitting on the charging cable or connector should be avoided.”

With even the highest standards and most compliant charger, there should absolutely be a barrier between the connector lead and an individual’s skin, and moreover a child’s mouth (a moist environment).

While it is stated that “iPhone and its USB power adapter comply with applicable surface temperature standards and limits defined by the International Standard for Safety of Information Technology Equipment (IEC 60950-1) […] even within these limits, sustained contact with warm surfaces for long periods of time may cause discomfort or injury. Use common sense to avoid situations where your skin is in contact with a device, its power adapter, or a wireless charger when it’s operating or connected to a power source for long periods of time. For example, don’t sleep on a device, power adapter, or wireless charger, or place them under a blanket, pillow, or your body, when it’s connected to a power source.”

iPhone user guide

Apple Support

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

UK’s The Telegraph Announces Charger Dangers

In an email correspondence earlier this year between Geddy’s Mom founder Dr. Sarah Shell and Public Health Advisor for the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, Ashley Martin writes “it is a very real risk when anyone comes into contact with the end of a lead plugged into an electric supply of an electrocution or burn and this will be exacerbated by the presence of moisture in the mouth.”. Incidents of these sorts, though rare, are either life threatening or disfiguring. Martyn Allen, technical director at Electrical Safety First, told The Telegragh following a safety study of chargers purchased online: “It is extremely concerning that 49 out of 50 UK chargers we tested failed basic safety checks”. He goes on to tell the Telegraph that anyone purchasing an iPhone charger from an online marketplace or at an independent discount store is taking a serious risk with their safety. “The majority of chargers we tested had the potential to deliver a lethal electrical shock or cause a fire.”

This correspondence was in response to the article below and attached, printed in The Telegraph:

iPhone Charger Safety Test Results

Electrical Safety First, who conducted a series of safety tests on fake iPhone chargers purchased in the UK, found that 98 per cent of the chargers tested could cause a fire or deliver a lethal electric shock. Of the 50 brands tested, all but one failed one or more of the tests and more than one in three chargers failed every part of the safety screening – a worrying prospect for anyone who has purchased a replacement charger online. In some cases the chargers came from sellers who claimed they were genuine Apple products. It is not the first survey of its kind to yield such concerning results. The US consumer product safety organization, Underwriters Laboratory tested 400 counterfeit and lookalike Apple chargers last year and found a 99 per cent failure rate. Electrical Safety First also tested 14 EU chargers as part of this research. All 14 failed all of the safety tests in every respect. “It is extremely concerning that 49 out of 50 UK chargers we tested failed basic safety checks,” said Martyn Allen, technical director at Electrical Safety First. “Anyone purchasing an iPhone charger from an online marketplace or at an independent discount store is taking a serious risk with their safety. “The majority of chargers we tested had the potential to deliver a lethal electrical shock or cause a fire.”

by Margi Murphy, 2017

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

A Conversation between Dr Shell and Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Press Secretary

In response to Dr. Shell’s questions on the CPSC’s stance on charger safety, CPSC Press Secretary Patty Davis says “we say ‘unplug the charger when not in use’ every chance we get”. In consultation with their experts, Patty Davis goes on to say “our experts believe chargers have the ability to release a current when the USB portion is sucked on or is touched with metal”. And therefore, according to these experts “[i]t’s definitely not advisable to suck on the output of a USB charger that’s plugged in. … if the toddler persisted, they may eventually have a problem if the saliva started to contact internal parts at 120 V or touching the open output socket with something metal. Of course you never know with substandard units because they may not have the proper electrical isolation between the input and output and/or output protection. Just like with other products, it’s a good practice to buy listed chargers and unplug them when not in use.”

We have learned from Apple that 90% of the chargers listed on Amazon as Apple-branded are in fact knock-offs, and even Apple’s own customer support page warns users against prolonged skin contact and moist contact with the charger.

A Proactive Solution

The reality is while parents understand that there is a real hazard by leaving their chargers plugged in, they don’t take the steps to lessen the risk because it simply requires too much energy and lessens the convenience. And therefore there’s always that little bit of guilt whenever we plug our next electrical accessory in to our conveniently placed and readily available charger. WATCH YOUR MOUTH by Geddy’s Mom mitigates this risk (and this guilt) without compromising the convenience of having your charger readily available.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

2020 Annals of Emergency Medicine Documents Cases Caused by Phone Chargers

In January of this year, the American College of Emergency Physicians published a study on cases in the Emergency Room that were the result of phone charger mishaps. The report stated “[m]any children and adolescents have access to portable electronic devices. Although not always the case, these devices are often charged at nighttime, especially while being used in bed. There are increasing media reports of electric current injury from the portable electronic devices’ charging cables, particularly with equipment that is available for a lower cost from generic manufacturers. A 19-year-old woman presented to the pediatric emergency department after a burn from her generic iPhone charger.” This report summary goes on to explain that “[s]everal companies have investigated the difference in quality and safety of generic versus Apple-brand chargers and have found that the majority of the generic chargers fail basic safety testing, making them a higher risk for electrical injury…”

The main case discussed in this study involved an Apple charger, though the authors state “…any device that uses a USB charger could cause this type of injury, including Android products, tablets, small laptops, watches, and even certain fans and book lights”.

Low Voltage Does Not Mean Low Danger

Often when discussing the possibility of electric shock from chargers, the response we, at Geddy’s Mom, receive is “but it’s only 5 volts, that’s nothing more than a tickle”. While this might be accurate, an innocent 5 volt charger might also let loose up to 120 volts if not properly constructed. In fact, current (amperage) is the deterministic factor when discussing electric shock, and as you will see, even a low-voltage device can cause electric shock if the quality of the unit is not to standard or if a quality unit malfunctions, or any other reasonable or unreasonable factor presents itself. But our question to parents is: even with low amperage, is it ok for your child to experience the slight shock that one might feel if they touch a battery to their tongue? Is it really worth playing the odds when your child is placing a charger lead in his/her mouth? Though rare, the possibility is real, and that reality is life threatening or life changing.

Doctors present evidence in this study that “patients should be educated to not sleep with their telephone charging in bed or leave a charger plugged in without its being attached to a telephone. The same is true in regard to tablets and other mobile devices.”

As this study explains, the safety tests on phone chargers determine whether there is sufficient division (insulation) between the parts holding the charge, and the parts that a user can come in contact with (the connector lead – the end of the wire that plugs in to the electrical unit in need of charging). If there is not enough separation between these two parts, there is a greater risk of electric shock.

Other Studies on the Dangers of Low-Voltage Chargers

Here is the summary of an independent safety test out of the U.K.: “In a study conducted by Electrical Safety First in the United Kingdom, Apple provided 64 generic chargers for safety testing. Fifty-eight percent of these generic chargers failed the electric strength test, indicating a breakdown of the insulation barrier. This has the potential to increase the USB output voltage from a normal 5 V to 240 V”. Not the small battery twinge that is scoffed at!

In a second study out of Canada, this paper goes on to report, “400 generic iPhone chargers underwent product certification testing to identify potential safety risks related to electrical shock. Twenty-two samples were immediately damaged during the process of energizing or during the touch current test, with 12 samples having a very high leakage current with a capacity for electrocution. In regard to the electric strength test, only 3 of the 400 samples passed, which corresponds to a 99% failure rate.”

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

Electric Shock from Unused Phone Charger Throws Child Across the Room

20 percent of all electrical injuries in the U.S. occur in children, while the incidence is highest in toddlers and adolescents and occur most often in the home, with the most common cause being exposure to electrical outlets and wires – according to report from Johns Hopkins Medicine resident Dr. Creagh.

Below is an article reported by Fox News this past December (2019). Here are the words that need to resonate with parents: “my baby still got hurt from something I stupidly never even considered would be an issue”.

Electrical burn on a child's hand from a phone charger

A mother is warning others of the potential dangers of electrical outlets after her child was severely shocked when attempting to plug in a phone charger.

The unnamed mom took to the Facebook group CPR Kids late last month to share her young daughter’s story, telling others that the night the incident occurred “could’ve ended a lot differently” for her little one, who was not identified.

Some Dangers are Hiding in Plain Sight

On Nov. 25, the woman’s daughter was admitted to the hospital after receiving a “pretty bad electrical shock from trying to plug my phone charger in,” she wrote.

“Unfortunately this happened right in front of me. I didn’t realise [sic] she knew how to attempt to plug in a charger until it was too late,” she continued.

The correct end of the charger was already plugged in, but the girl attempted to plug the side of the charger meant for the phone into the outlet, resulting in an electric shock, the girl’s mother said.

“The power strip she tried plugging the charger into (one end was already plugged in, she tried putting the phone part of [the] charger into the outlet) popped, shot sparks and what looked like flames and black smoke and threw her a few feet across the living room,” the mom said. “She was quiet for a few seconds then started screaming and crying.”

Fast Action and Learning from Mistakes

The woman rushed her daughter to the emergency room. There, doctors “found an entrance wound but not an exit which worried them that it zapped her heart.” As a result, the girl was required to stay overnight so medical professionals could monitor her heart.

Thankfully, other than a roughly dime-sized burn on her right hand, the little girl is OK.

“Even though my house is baby-proofed with outlet covers, door stoppers, baby gates, stove knob covers, etc, my baby still got hurt from something I stupidly never even considered would be an issue,” the mom concluded. “Needless to say all power strips will be hidden in spots she can not get to from now on.”

In the post, which has more than 300 reactions and nearly 400 shares as Tuesday morning, CPR kids posted advice on how to care for children who sustain electrical burns.

Electrical Burn Safety & First Aid

“For electrical burns, always remember to first switch off the circuit breaker (safety switch) before touching your injured child — so that you yourself don’t also become a victim and can then no longer assist your child,” it advised. “Also, be prepared to follow DRSABCD (as electrical injuries can cause damage to the heart and other organs), before following REMOVE, COOL, COVER, SEEK as demonstrated in our first aid for burns video.”

According to a July report on electrical injuries, roughly 20 percent of all electrical injuries in the U.S. occur in children, while the incidence is “highest in toddlers and adolescents.”

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can protect your child from electrical shocks.

What Emergency Room Doctors are Saying about Chargers

Below is an article featured on WebMD that accounts for some of the types of USB Charger-related trauma doctors see in the Emergency Room. The traumas discussed are specifically caused by the lead end of chargers that are plugged in. Dr. Leigh Vinocur, Spokesperson for the America College of Emergency Physicians, admits, like all of us, she’s is guilty of leaving her phone chargers plugged in even when they are no longer attached to her phone, and hadn’t considered the risks associated with that. But like all of us, parents are learning, this new awareness means changes must take place for the sake of our children, ourselves, and our home. Read the full article below or click here for the WebMD link.

Do cellphone chargers really use that much electricity?

… “even with a low-voltage device, if the current is high, then the electric shock can be severe.” Bunke’s bottom line? “Do not sleep with your mobile device,” she advised.”And avoid leaving the charger plugged in when it is not connected to a phone,”

Could Your Cellphone Charger Electrocute You?

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Because of their capacity to distract, cellphones and sleep are not the best of bedfellows.

But besides keeping you awake, new research warns that bringing your smartphone to bed could literally shock you.

The report describes instances of people who were accidentally electrocuted and burned by phone charging cords.

“A charger relies on the contained transfer of a certain amount of electrical current,” explained study author Dr. Carissa Bunke, a pediatric resident physician with the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

But if that electrical transfer is not properly contained, unsuspecting phone users can end up shocked, burned and in some cases hospitalized, she said.

The Dangers of Plugged-In Chargers

Bunke’s team highlights a case in point: a 19-year-old woman who sought care at an ER when she experienced neck pain and burning after going to sleep.

While in bed the patient had inadvertently lay on top of a USB-charging cord meant for an Apple iPhone. The cord was an inexpensive off-brand type, which the patient had left plugged into an outlet, even though the “live” charging end was not actually plugged into her phone at the time.

The live end then came into contact with a long metal necklace the woman was wearing. That triggered a sudden burning sensation, along with “severe” pain around the patient’s neck.

“In most cases,” said Bunke, “a shock or a burn would only slightly damage the top layer of skin and could be addressed at home or at urgent care.

“In more serious instances, second-degree burns — those that penetrate to the second layer of skin — could cause serious externally visible injuries that require procedures such as skin grafts,” she added.

In this instance, doctors found that the charger’s electrical current had burned an almost perfect circle around the patient’s neck.

“Because the burn is caused by electricity, the shock can be painful,” said Bunke, who added that serious electrocution cases can even trigger irregular heartbeats, breathing difficulties or muscle damage.

“Treatment would depend on severity, but in most cases requires an initial visit with a physician, checks for internal and external injury or side effects, and follow up with a primary care provider or burn center,” she noted.In this case, the patient was released the same day after being given morphine for her pain and antibiotics to prevent infection at the burn site.

Not All Chargers are Created Equal

But electrocution risk is not only a function of how or where phone cords are placed around the bed, said Bunke. The kind of charger used may also matter, she said, with cheaper knockoff cords potentially posing a greater risk than an original, branded plug.

Why? “Evidence is mounting that generic chargers are not necessarily guaranteed to go through the same safety and quality checks as the branded versions,” Bunke said.

Still, even brand-name cords can pose problems in certain situations, her team noted.

For example, Bunke and her colleagues also noted another cellphone electrocution case, in which a young man took his Apple iPhone equipment to bed.

In that instance, the plug was in fact an original Apple-brand cord. But he was electrocuted and literally thrown out of his bed, after a chain he was wearing came into contact with the cord.

Do Cellphone Chargers Really Use that much Electricity?

Bunke and her team stressed that doesn’t matter, pointing out that “even with a low-voltage device, if the current is high, then the electric shock can be severe.”

Bunke’s bottom line? “Do not sleep with your mobile device,” she advised.

“And avoid leaving the charger plugged in when it is not connected to a phone,” Bunke added.

The findings were published recently in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Leigh Vinocur, national spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, agreed with Bunke’s advice.

“I’m guilty of this,” Vinocur admitted. “I, too, have my iPhone plugged in next to my bed, because it’s my alarm clock. I don’t lay in bed with it. But certainly when I leave the house, I leave the cord plugged in. And truthfully, I’ve also bought cheap non-branded power cords on Amazon.”

“So, this study opens my eyes,” said Vinocur. “As a physician, a consumer, a mother, and as someone who has a pet in the house.”

“And I would say that we all really have to pay more attention to this,” she added, “which means looking for chargers that are certified, and making sure the power cords are not frayed. And not taking our phones into bed with us when we’re asleep, and unplugging them when we leave the house.”

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