Frustrated parents with broken mobile devices and computers are in good company, as more than 50 percent say their kids have damaged an electronic device. The costs of repairs total more than $2.8 billion, according to a study by SquareTrade.
"Just like their parents, kids use devices for an increasing number of things -- from games and videos to research and homework. Our research shows that this increased usage also means that devices are more at risk than ever before, and we expect this trend to continue," said Ty Shay, CMO of SquareTrade, which offers protection plans for electronic devices. "We believe it's important to educate parents about these accidents because 60 percent are not covered by a protection plan, making repairs and replacements expensive and time consuming."
The study also states more than 85 percent of American kids now have their own mobile device, and they are using those devices for an average of 3.2 hours a day. Not surprisingly, 36 percent of parents have bought an additional device in order to reduce conflict in their home. Boys were 35 percent more likely than girls to have caused an accident with an electronic device.
Physical damage isn’t the only issue. Other unexpected consequences of kids using mobile devices including unauthorized purchases, accidental calls, texts and photographs, and a large number of food and drink related accidents. In fact, 33 percent of kid-caused accidents involved food or drink with 50 percent involving milk, 19 percent chocolate, 17 percent candy and 16 percent yogurt.
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Additionally, 31 percent of parents say that their kids have called, texted or messaged someone by accident on their parent's devices. And 28 percent of parents report their kids have purchased something on the parent's mobile device without permission. Plus 9 percent of parents say that their kids have taken inappropriate photos with the parent's devices.
SquareTrade's 2013 Kids Accidents Survey was conducted in June 2013 by Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,000 parents with at least one child up to 18 years old.
SquareTrade provides these tips for protecting kids' devices and parents' wallets from unexpected device accidents:
- Always keep devices in protective cases or covers
- Never take your devices to the bathroom
- Remind your kids not to eat and drink while using devices
- If your kids bring devices to school, make sure they don't over-pack their backpack and crush their tablet
- Buy a protection plan so you're covered no matter what accident happens.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey