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The Dangers Of Using Your Cell Phone While It's Charging

Feb 29, 2016

We use our cell phones so often that it's hard to imagine living without them, but there's a new danger that's making people question the safety of cell phone use. Gabbie Fedro, a 13-year-old girl from Illinois, experienced second-degree burns from using her cell phone while it was plugged into the wall charging. We've heard stories of cell phone batteries exploding when covered by things like pillows, but Jackie's story is a new cautionary tale that needs to be heard.

According to Gabbie's mother, Jackie, she is heavily involved in athletics and has a busy schedule to prove it. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Jackie said that "One of the reasons we finally gave in and bought her a cell phone is so we can keep in touch with her more with her crazy practice schedule." When I was a teenager, getting a cell phone was the dream. After all, the endless freedom to talk to your friends through text messages and social media is exciting. Unfortunately, Gabbie's experience with her very first cell phone couldn't have been worse.

Not a week after the purchase, Gabbie ran downstairs screaming in pain and grabbing her neck. She'd been alone in her room using her new phone, and her mother had no idea what was happening. Jackie told BuzzFeed News that “It’s the worst feeling in the world as a mother to watch your child scream in pain and have no idea how to help her. It took her a good five minutes before she was even able to tell us what had happened.” It took some time, but the family finally realized that an electric current from the phone had shocked Gabbie by traveling through her metal necklace. Now, Gabbie and her mother are taking to social media to spread awareness of this unexpected danger associated with cell phones. While incidents like this are rare, it's important for both parents and children to know how to safely use their cell phones. Check out the images below for the full story, as well as some expert tips on phone safety.

This is the Fedro family. Their oldest daughter, Gabbie, loves playing sports and living an active lifestyle. At 13 years old, her parents thought she was old enough for a cell phone that would help them stay in touch on busy days. They decided to go with an LG d500 from T-Mobile.


Jackie Fedro

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One week later, Gabbie's mother heard her screaming as she ran downstairs from her room. “She came running downstairs after it [happened] grabbing her neck. She was in so much pain she was screaming hysterically.”


Jackie Fedro

Gabbie said that she was using her phone while it was charging. All of the sudden, the phone sent off an electric current that traveled through her metal necklace and inflicted severe burns around her neck.


Jackie Fedro

According to Scott Wolfson from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, "cell phone injuries are pretty rare, but they do happen."


Solarseven/Getty Images

Most injuries involving cell phones have to do with the lithium-ion batteries that power them, the same reason there have been so many hoverboard accidents recently. Apparently, third-party chargers or batteries, like the ones you'd purchase from a mall kiosk, increase your risk of dangerous malfunctions.


Ingram Publishing/Getty Images

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The burns left Gabbie with scars around her neck.


Jackie Fedro

All her mother asks is that parents exercise caution and good judgment when allowing their children to use cell phones. By sharing her daughter's story, Jackie hopes to prevent accidents like this from traumatizing others in the future.


Jackie Fedro

H/T: BuzzFeed | Sun Gazing

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