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Smartwatch explodes causing third-degree burns on 4-year-old girl

Smartwatch explodes causing third-degree burns on 4-year-old girl

As the years go by, mobile devices are getting safer. Manufacturers are improving the designs of their products, including battery manufacturers, and the public has been educated about the potential dangers of using cheap third-party charging gear. Still, there will be occasional stories like this one about a four-year old girl who required painful skin grafts after her smartwatch exploded causing third-degree burns to the back of her hand.

Smartwatch explosion leaves four-year old with third-degree burns

The girl, who was identified by Yahoo News Australia by the name of Yiyi Huang, lives in the city of Quanzhou in the Chinese province of Fujian. Earlier this month, while Yiyi was playing with her younger cousin, her grandmother heard a loud bang followed by the sound of Yiyi screaming. When she ran into the room where the children were playing, the grandmother noticed that it was covered with dark smoke while a burning smell permeated the air, and smoke continued to come from the smartwatch still attached to Yiyi’s wrist.

After the device was removed from the child’s wrist, the extent of the damage to Yiyi’s hand was obvious and she was rushed to the hospital where she remains following the skin graft procedure. The name of the smartwatch manufacturer has not been revealed and Mr. Huang is said to be in talks with them over compensation for the incident.

Smartwatch explosions are rare and the most recent one we’ve written about took place in 2017 when a Fitbit Flex 2 exploded on the wrist of Dina Mitchell while she was reading a book. She was treated for second-degree burns as the device partially melted on her wrist. The company, now owned by Google parent Alphabet, offered the victim a replacement unit.

After an investigation, Fitbit found no malfunction on the part of its device. A company spokesman said days after the incident, “Based on our initial investigation, including testing of her device by a leading third-party failure analysis firm, we have concluded that Ms. Mitchell’s Fitbit Flex 2 did not malfunction. The testing shows that external forces caused the damage to the device.”

A series of explosions to Apple devices seemed to kick off in July, 2013, with a very unfortunate incident. Approximately three weeks before she was to get married, a 23-year old stewardess in China by the name of Ai Lun was electrocuted while charging her iPhone 5. A faulty third-party charger was cited as the cause of the electrocution.
A few weeks later, a man in China plugging his iPhone 4 into an outlet received a shock that put him into a coma. The culprit once again was a third-party charger. Apple responded by posting warnings about using chargers that are counterfeit or not official. And to get these dangerous fakes out of circulation, Apple introduced a buyback program offering consumers discounts on Apple-made chargers.

Many incidents occurred due to the use of dangerous cheaply made chargers

But third-party chargers weren’t the only problem. When a Samsung Galaxy S III exploded inside a car while placed in the car dock (with the charger not plugged in), retailer Carphone Warehouse took a lot of criticism for not replacing the fried phone. But as it turns out, the firm made the right call.

What really happened was that a friend of the phone’s owner accidentally dropped the device in the toilet and decided that the best way to dry the device was to put it in the microwave and make up a story to explain the phone’s explosion. Investigators said that the only way that the device could sustain such damage was from a microwave.

As we pointed out at the beginning of this story, times have changed, but you still need to be smart when purchasing a charger for your phone. And that is why we have to wonder whether Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers that no longer include a charger in the box with a new phone are forcing their customers to purchase poorly made charging bricks.

Still, it is worth your life to shell out the extra cash required to buy a charger made by the phone’s manufacturer instead of relying on an old, frayed cable and a third-party brick. And you can always save money by using replacements that have been certified MFi (Made for iPhone) by Apple.


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