WARNING: DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE WHILE IT IS CHARGING. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!
Cell phone injuries are pretty rare, but they do happen.
13-year-old Gabbie Fedro suffered some pretty serious burns after the charger from her cell phone overheated and gave her second-degree burns. She was using a T-Mobile LG d500 that she received for Christmas when her Father says he heard screaming coming from her bedroom. Her mother said, “She came running downstairs after it happened grabbing her neck. She was in so much pain she was screaming hysterically.” This isn’t the first time phone chargers have proven dangerous. The majority of these injuries come from the phone’s lithium-ion batteries overheating and leading to explosions or burns.
In June 2014, a faulty USB phone charger was blamed for the death in Australia of mother-of-two Sheryl Anne Aldeguer, after it sent a high current through her body while she was wearing headphones and talking on the phone. Similarly, her phone had also been plugged into a wall socket. The incident sparked a public alert about cheap electronics, and prompted Fair Trading to issue a warning over the sale of unapproved USB chargers in New South Wales.
- In 2010, a toddler in Colorado suffered third-degree burns after she was apparently shocked by putting an Apple USB cable into her mouth. The cable was plugged into a laptop at the time, The Denver Channel
- A faulty USB charger was also blamed for the death of a woman in Australia in 2014, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The woman had reportedly been electrocuted while talking on the phone. The charger was a knock-off, the newspaper reported.
- A woman in China also was allegedly killed by electrocution while using a faulty charger in 2013, according to Apple said it would investigate, and later posted a warning to its Chinese website urging consumers not to use third-party chargers.
However, there is no inherent or explicit danger in using a properly working mobile phone being charged with the appropriate and properly working charging unit. Moreover, the practise of using a mobile phone while it is charging is repeated many thousands of times per day all over the world without incident or injury. This is especially true in an era when people use their smart phones constantly and for a great deal more than just making or taking phone calls.