It doesn't matter how old you are: sleeping with a smartphone or tablet nearby can cause problems.
For many parents, it's no surprise that using smartphones and tablets at night is associated with less sleep and a poorer quality of sleep for kids and teens. However, a fire department in New Hampshire is warning parents about another important issue: kids charging their electronic devices on their beds as they fall asleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundations poll in 2013, 72 percent of kids and 89 percent of teens have at least one device in their "sleep environment." If kids have their devices plugged in for the night while they scroll through social media in bed or are streaming a show while they fall asleep, it can present an "extremely dangerous" hazard, according to the Newton, New Hampshire Fire Department. "Research has revealed that 53 percent of children/teens charge their phone or tablet either on their bed or under their pillow," they shared on Facebook. "The heat generated cannot dissipate, and the charger will become hotter and hotter."
Along with their post to raise awareness, the fire department shared photos of burned linens from an overheated charger to show just how close this could be to a child's body. "The likely result is that the pillow/bed will catch fire," the fire department wrote. "This places the child/teen as well as everyone else in the home in great danger."
In an effort to keep families as safe as possible, this fire department asks that you check where your kids are charging their devices at night and to spread the word about keeping those chargers away from bed.