What to Teach Your Teen About
Parents of teens can relate. You want to share the important 4-1-1 (info) with your teen but he or she braces for the next lecture.
Your teen may give you the quintessential eye roll, but sharing this safety information could help save his or her life.
So when the time is right, relay this information to your teenager to prevent electrical shock.
- Do not use a cell phone near the bathtub or sink or with wet hands while it is plugged in and charging. Do not use an extension cord in the bathroom to extend your phone’s reach closer to the tub. Teens have died after a charging phone dropped into bathwater.
- Do not sleep with your charging cell phone under your pillow or in bed with you. The phone can overheat, causing bedding to catch on fire or burns to the skin. Also, a short in the charging cord can cause electrical shock when you are using your phone. This is especially a risk when using generic or incompatible charging equipment. Always replace charging equipment with brand name/matching items. They cost more, but they are less likely to malfunction.
- Do not charge your cell phone, tablet or other devices on soft surfaces such as a blanket, pillow or bedding.
On the Road
- THIS ADVICE CAN SAVE YOUR TEEN’S LIFE: If you are in an accident involving a downed power line or damaged padmount transformer or other electrical equipment, DO NOT get out of your car and call 9-1-1. Only get out if there is smoke or your car is on fire. If that is the case, make a clean exit from the vehicle (make a solid jump out without touching the car) and hop with feet together, DO NOT WALK as far as you can. If there is damaged power equipment, the ground and anything else the lines touch could have electrical current running through it.
- If you approach an accident with a downed power line, DO NOT attempt to help the victims and do not go near the scene. Instead, call 9-1-1 and warn others not to approach the area.
- Do not use plugged-in devices (e.g. a charging cell phone) near water like a pool or hot tub or in damp conditions.
- If you are swimming in a lake and feel odd sensations in your body, such as tingling or zaps, swim away from the dock or other source of electricity (e.g. lights). Sometimes electrical currents can leak into the water and can cause electric shock drowning. If you feel odd sensations in a wading pool, hot tub or swimming pool, get out.
In the Dorm Room
- Do not hang decorative light strands with metal tacks or nails.
- Do not overload outlets or extension cords.
- Do not run extension cords under a rug or use them if they are frayed or cracked.
- Use extension cords with care: They are for temporary use only.
- Use reputable laboratory-tested cords.
- Only use appliances allowed by your dorm/campus.
Although you can’t cover all these tips with your teen in one sitting (we don’t recommend you try), they are important to convey and could prevent injuries and save lives.
For more electrical safety information, visit SafeElectricity.org.