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Five phone safety tips – to protect it and you

Dropping phones down the toilet, sitting on them, failed attempts at typing with one hand and general carelessness are cited as causes of accidents that lead to phone damage.

doogee n100 smartphone
Image: Ste Knight / KnowTechie

Few possessions are as precious to us as our phones and, as they’re always with us, they’re in constant danger of loss, damage, or theft.

Broken screens, water damage, and loss or theft of phones are common ills that affect many people. But what many people don’t consider is that phones also pose dangers to us.

76,000 head and neck injuries due to mobile phones

One recent study analyzed the number of patients that arrived in emergency rooms with head and neck injuries related to mobile phones.

On the basis of the study of data from 100 hospitals over 20 years, researchers estimated there were 76,000 head and neck injuries across the US requiring emergency treatment during that time.

Individuals aged 13-29 were most likely to be injured and many of the injuries arose from activities like texting whilst walking.

About half of all the phone related emergency room incidents in the study were related to phone use whilst driving. Injuries were also caused by exploding batteries. Phones themselves are also in constant peril.

One recent study found half of adults had broken their phone screen at one stage or another and one in five owners damaged their devices within the first month of ownership.

With few owners bothering with phone insurance, a total of 12% of adults were currently using a phone with a broken screen, according to the study.

Dropping phones down the toilet, sitting on them, failed attempts at typing with one hand and general carelessness are cited as causes of accidents that lead to phone damage.

Five top tips to protect you and your phone

  • Don’t walk along looking down at your phone

…But if you’re going to, consider moving to Salzburg, in Austria, where lampposts were covered in airbags to stop ‘smartphone zombies’ hurting themselves or perhaps Chongqing, China, where a specific cellphone lane was opened on one sidewalk for people to use whilst looking at their phones.

  • Don’t charge your device overnight or use a cheap charger

Fire departments get numerous calls to incidents caused due to chargers and batteries. One London based brigade says the figure for it is around 24 incidents a week.

Lithium-ion batteries found in phones and electrical devices are mostly very safe, but pose a fire risk when overcharged or damaged, by puncturing or immersion in water, for example. Counterfeit electrical charges cost lives.

  • Do clean your mobile phone – it’s harboring deadly germs

A study by Australia’s Bond University found phones commonly harbor potentially deadly germs including golden staph and E.Coli. Dr. Lotti Tajouri, who led the study, estimated smartphone users touch their devices up to 5,000 times a day.

He said: “You can wash your hands as many times as you like – and you should – but if you then touch a contaminated phone you are contaminating yourself all over again. Think of your phone as your third hand.”

  • Do your bit for your phone, your wallet and the environment with a phone cover

There are 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, which with so many getting dropped, broken, and replaced every day is a big dent on carbon footprints. Getting a decent phone case saves you money and hassle and helps save the planet.

You can even be doubly good, by buying one that is made out of recycled bike inner tubes and delivered in recycled packaging.

  • Keep your phone out of the bathroom or, at least, keep a bag of rice on standby

Keeping your phone well away from the bathroom is one of the best ways to ensure it doesn’t suffer the same fate as a dead pet goldfish and end up swimming in the u-bend. Keeping it off the dining room table and the danger of spilled drinks is also a wise move.

If you can’t manage to keep your phone out of range of getting drenched though, at least have a bag of rice on permanent standby.

Even with all the complex technology of 2020, leaving your wet phone in a bowl of rice it’s still one of the most sworn-by methods of reviving it.

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