It was just another normal evening at home for Illinois mother Jackie Fedro. That was until her 13-year-old daughter, Gabbie, ran down the stairs screaming in pain as a result of a freak accident.
“She came running downstairs after it [happened] grabbing her neck,” Jackie said to Buzzfeed News. “She was in so much pain she was screaming hysterically. ... It took her a good five minutes before she was even able to tell us what had happened.”
The teen was upstairs using her phone while it was plugged into a wall charger. The charger accidentally touched her metal necklace, which sent an electrical current around her neck causing serious second-degree burns according to AWM.
The phone was a T-Mobile LG d500, which Jackie purchased for her daughter as a Christmas present in 2015.
Gabbie is very involved in sports and is constantly out of the house.
“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,” Jackie said to Buzzfeed News.
But now, Jackie has turned to social media warning other parents of the possible dangers of cell phone use. Buzzfeed reports that she shared photos of her daughter's injuries on Twitter alongside the caption "13 yr old burned! Necklace caught current from phone that was charging."
Cell phone injuries are relatively rare according to Scott Wolfson from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Most injuries occur when phones' lithium-ion batteries overheat, which can lead to burns or, in some cases, explosions.
Wolfson told Buzzfeed News that the biggest risk factor for cell phone injuries is using third-party chargers or off-brand cell phone batteries. In 2013, CNET reports that a woman in China was allegedly killed by electrocution when she was talking on her cell phone while it was plugged into a knock-off charger. After the incident, Apple posted a warning on its Chinese website telling consumers to use only official chargers and batteries.
“You really shouldn’t go to a mall kiosk for a replacement battery or charger,” Wolfson said.
In this case, however, Gabbie's phone was purchased straight from a T-Mobile store and had all of its original equipment. Jackie contacted both LG and T-Mobile after the accident. LG did not respond, but T-Mobile sent the family a brand new phone and offered to cover all medical expenses.
Jackie is speaking out after the accident as it was an extremely traumatizing event for both herself and her daughter.
"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,” she said.
Jackie added: “With so many kids using phones nowadays, parents need to be warned about the harm that they can cause.”