It’s not unusual to see a toddler interacting with a cell phone — many parents load colorful mobile apps or videos on their cell phone to distract young children while waiting at the store or pediatrician’s office.
But you might not realize your cell phone can cause injury. While offering up a little screen time is handy, there are cautions to take when your child interacts with your mobile phone. Mobile phones are generally low voltage, but a child who accidentally chews on the attached electrical cord or charger can get hurt. Other hazards are also present for children who put a mobile phone in their mouth.
Germs. Cell phones are covered with them. In fact, they are among the germiest items in your home.
Older phones. Phones built just three or four years ago may have buttons or switches that can break off in a child’s mouth and become a choking hazard. These phones may also include small parts like microchips or batteries that can become loosened if the phone back is opened and pose a serious danger if swallowed.
Glass. Many of today’s cell phones are made with glass faces. If a toddler drops a phone and tries to pick it up again, they can be injured by broken glass.
Bottom line? Apps may be designed with kids in mind, but mobile phones are for adults. It can be tempting to let your savvy 3-year-old sit down with a mobile device to play with an educational app while you throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, but do so with a watchful eye.
Phone chargers and cords should be stored away when not in use, and keep charging cell phones far away from a toddler’s reach.
If you find you are frequently allowing your toddler to play educational apps on your phone, consider a case designed for a child’s use, like the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case by Fisher-Price ($15).