Half of American Parents Say Kids Have Damaged a Mobile Phone, Laptop or Tablet

“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.

“We believe it’s important to educate parents about these accidents because 60% are not covered by a protection plan, making repairs and replacements expensive and time consuming.”

More than 85% of American kids now have their own mobile device and they use it more than ever: parents say their kids use mobile devices for an average of 3.2 hours a day.

  • Kids 2 and under use for 1.5 hours per day
  • Kids 3-6 use for 1.8 hours per day
  • Kids 7-12 use for 3 hours per day
  • Kids 13-17 use for 4.9 hours per day

The research also revealed the unexpected consequences of kids using mobile devices including unauthorized purchases, accidental calls, texts and photographs, and a surprising number of food and drink related accidents:

  • Accidental calls & texts: 31% of parents say that their kids have called, texted, or messaged someone by accident on their parent’s devices
  • Unapproved purchases: 28% of parents say that their kids have purchased something on the parent’s mobile device without permission
  • Unintended photos: 9% of parents say that their kids have taken inappropriate photos with the parent’s devices.
  • Conflict: 36% of parents have bought an additional device in order to reduce conflict in their home
  • Food & Drink: 33% of kid-caused accidents involved food or drink:
    • ✓ 50% involved milk
    • ✓ 19% involved chocolate
    • ✓ 17% involved candy
    • ✓ 16% involved yogurt
  • Boy trouble: Boys were 35% more likely than girls to have caused the accident

SquareTrade suggests these 5 tips for protecting kids’ devices and parents’ wallets from unexpected device accidents:

  1. Always keep devices in protective cases or covers
  2. Never take your devices to the bathroom
  3. Remind your kids not to eat and drink while using devices
  4. If your kids bring devices to school, make sure they don’t over-pack their backpack and crush their tablet
  5. Buy a protection plan so you’re covered no matter what accident happens

1Methodology and Data Sources
1.) SquareTrade’s 2013 Kids Accidents Survey, conducted in June 2013 using the world’s largest panel provider, Survey Sampling International. Feedback was collected from 1,000 parents with at least one child 0-18. 2.) The Census Bureau’s 2010 population estimates from the Family Households by Number of Own Children Under 18 Years study. Please note: Total expenditure estimate created using data sources 1 & 2.

kids-infographic-hi-resFor more information, go to www.squaretrade.com.