(StatePoint) Many parents may be considering tablets, laptops or smartphones as holiday gifts. Indeed, more than 85 percent of American kids now have mobile devices, and this number is on the rise. And they don’t just use them for games, movies and Facebook. They use them for homework, to collaborate on school projects, and some even are integrated into classrooms.
Surprisingly, half of parents say their kids have damaged laptops, tablets or smartphones, adding up to $2.8 billion in repairs, according to new research from SquareTrade, the number one consumer-rated protection plan company.
Eighty percent of accidents happen at home, with most in the kitchen. And 33 percent of kid-related accidents involve food, with half involving milk!
So how can you keep gadgets protected around kids? Encourage children to be careful around technology. Be sure to get sturdy cases and covers. And consider water-proof ones, to ward off milk!
Also consider a protection plan. For example, SquareTrade protection plans cover drops, spills, and such accidents as tablets getting crushed in backpacks or smartphones slipping into cereal bowls. They also cover mechanical and electrical problems, like antennae and Wi-Fi failure, broken charging ports or touch-screen failure.
Best of all, SquareTrade protection plans are easy and hassle-free. If your device breaks, the company helps get it repaired in two days for most devices -- and frequently overnight for phones. If it’s an Apple product, you can get it fixed the same day at a Genius Bar and get reimbursed. And you are covered for up to four repairs or replacements per plan, just in case kids slip up multiple times. SquareTrade is available at Amazon, eBay, Costco, Sam`s Club, Staples and at www.squaretrade.com.