Young families

Are there hidden dangers lurking in your kids’ bedrooms?

It’s no secret that children today are growing up with far more gadgets than their parents did. But many tech-savvy kids are unknowingly leaving themselves open to serious dangers, and parents need to be aware of the risks.

If your child or teenager leaves their phone, tablet or laptop charging on their bed, uses a cheap unbranded charger or sleeps with their phone under their pillow, their lives (and yours) could be at risk.

When a device, such as a phone or a tablet, is left surrounded by bedding or under a pillow, there is nowhere for the generated heat to dissipate and it will to become hotter and hotter. The heat caused by the device, combined with flammable materials, has the potential to cause fire and put property or even lives in danger. Even if the device is manufactured to the correct safety standards, it can still become very dangerous, very quickly, if not charged on a table or similar appropriate environment.

Do's and dont's for charging safely in children and teenagers' bedrooms

  • DO make sure laptops, phones, tablets and any other electrical devices are charged on a hard surface such as a desk or table
  • DON’T charge phones, tablets or any electrical device on your bed, under a pillow or anywhere the device might overheat. Avoid charging devices unattended or overnight.
  • DO make sure that children keep their rooms tidy and dust free, clothes left on electrical devices such as games consoles can cause vents to be blocked and the device to overheat and catch fire. 
  • DO get everyone in your family into the habit of switching off electric games, computers, TVs and other electric appliances before you go to bed.
  • DON’T use or let children use fake or unbranded chargers. Many of these chargers do not satisfy UK safety regulations and can cause serious electric shock, injury or fire.
  • DO check plugs, sockets and cables regularly for signs of damage or scorching.
  • DON’T overload electric plug sockets. If you’re not sure if your socket is overloaded you can check on our calculator.
  • DON’T put drinks or other liquids on or near electric appliances. After bathing or showering children should be fully dry before using an electrical device. Water and electricity are a lethal combination.
  • DO make sure children understand how to use electricity and electric appliances responsibly and safely.

More resources for both younger and older children are available at Switched On Kids and Two Thirty Volts.

For more information on keeping your home safe for your and your family, click the links to the right.