The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets has had an incredible impact on the world as we know it. Schools are banning the use of phones within their walls, hoping to encourage children to pay attention to their studies, while parents are struggling to find the right balance as far as screen time within their own homes.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a poll across the United States in 2013, with the goal of better understanding the use of electronic devices in children and teens. They reported that 72% of all children polled and 89% of teens were found to have at least one electronic device in the area of their bed, most of which were using said device near bedtime.
Whether they are watching a movie, playing a game or browsing social media, the use of these devices prior to trying to bed has been associated with poor sleep quality, inadequate sleep quantity and an ongoing feeling of ‘sleepiness’ throughout the day. Ultimately, allowing your children to take their devices to bed is keeping them from getting the sleep that they require to optimally function the next day.
This, however, isn’t the only concern that is being raised regarding electronic devices at bedtime!
Newton, NH Fire Department recently took to their Facebook page in an effort to raise awareness about a growing trend that is putting children at risk each and every night.
They wrote: “Research has revealed that 53% of children/teens charge their phone or tablet either on their bed or under their pillow. This is can be extremely dangerous. The heat generated cannot dissipate and the charger will become hotter and hotter. The likely result is that the pillow/bed will catch fire. This places the child/teen as well as everyone else in the home in great danger. Please check where you & your family charge your mobile devices.”
Accompanying their post was a series of photographs depicting burn marks on bedding, illustrating the risks that they were discussing. The pictures clearly outline the risk that the fire department is hoping to bring to light – illustrating just how serious the concern is.
This is not the first time that chargers and smartphones have made the news. Richmond Hill Fired Department shared a tweet back in April outlining concerns surrounding leaving charging devices unattended. They wrote, “Apple or non-apple, mobile devices & charging cables pose a fire risk. Please be mindful when charging electronics & unplug when not in use.”
Apple or non-apple, mobile devices & charging cables pose a fire risk. Please be mindful when charging electronics & unplug when not in use. https://t.co/nlSZzKwPQ6
— Richmond Hill Fire (@RHFES) April 7, 2017
While smartphones and tablets aren’t going to be leaving our lives anytime in the near future, we need to be more aware of the potential risks that they bring into our homes. Only charge your phone when you are able to supervise it in the event that something happens, never leave your phones charging in or on your bed or other potentially flammable locations and always unplug your phone chargers when not in use!