Parents in Homestead and other South Florida communities need to be aware of a new viral challenge which poses a serious threat to children and teens. In fact, many fire fighting departments across the country are releasing alerts and warnings to inform the general public about the danger.
Unfortunately, the latest challenge, called the “outlet challenge,” is just the latest in a string of risky behaviors teens and children are pursuing for online likes. Following on the heels of the Tide Pod challenge, which saw social media users biting into detergent pods and challenges which saw people dancing alongside moving cars, this latest challenge is just as deadly.
What the Challenge Is
The outlet challenge asks teens and social media users to partially insert a phone charger into a wall outlet and then drop a penny between the charger and the outlet. Participants often film themselves completing this “challenge” and post the videos to encourage others to take part.
How it Can Cause Serious Injury for Homestead and Florida Children and Teens
When someone places a penny between an outlet and a partially plugged-in charger, sparks commonly occur. In some cases, the sparks caused when the penny hits the exposed prongs of the charger can scorch an outlet. If a child or teen is too close, the sparks can cause their clothes to catch fire or can leap up and cause burns or severe injury to the eyes and face.
This challenge can also cause damage to electrical systems. In some cases, it can also start a fire. One danger is that a fire can begin slowly behind the wall, where it cannot be seen until it causes severe damage and a danger to everyone inside the house.
In cases where children have done this challenge at a school or public spot, charges have been laid. Fire authorities have also pointed out electrocution is a possible hazard with this challenge.
How to Prevent Injuries and Burns
There are several ways to prevent damages and injuries caused this this latest challenge:
- Talk to your teens and children about the challenge: Have the discussion even if you do not think your children would take part in this challenge. Discuss why taking part in these challenges makes no sense and make sure your children have the chance to ask you questions.
- Check your fire outlets: This is a good time to encourage good electrical safety by discussing how to prevent electrical fires. It’s also a good time to check your outlets for any signs of wear and to update the batteries on your smoke alarms.
- Invest in outlet covers if you have young children: Covers can help prevent younger children from placing items inside the outlets.
If your child has suffered burns and injuries caused by someone’s negligence, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Homestead injury attorney. Our attorneys have more than six decades of combined experience and we have worked with many families who have been affected by child injuries.