Reports have gone viral that falling asleep wearing earbuds can lead to death by electrocution.
Falling asleep with ear buds in has never killed anyone.
Social media sites have lit up with warnings about the dangers of falling asleep with ear buds in while your phone is charging.
The first (false) report of a death caused by ear bud electrocution started with the website Paparazzi Jamaica, a digital tabloid that “does not warrant or make representations concerning the accuracy” of its stories.
Paparazzi Jamaica reports:
A young Filipino girl recharges her phone while her earphone was connected to her both ears and fell asleep.
As she was sleeping, the phone overheated, burnt and the electric power went through the earphone and she got electrocuted and died in her sleep. This has happened last night at 11 pm, June 10, 2015.
Then, the website News Watch 33 put a new twist on the story. It reported that the a 19-year-old woman named Gabrielle Samuels had been killed in Houston after falling asleep with ear buds in:
According to authorities, Samuels fell asleep around 12:15 a.m. in her bedroom. The young woman had finished a conversation with her boyfriend shortly before starting up her playlist. Around 3 a.m. is when the device malfunctioned, resulting in the death of Samuels. Medical examiners at the scene determined Samuels was electrocuted by the iPhone as the cause of death. Officials also discovered that Samuels was not using an official licensed Apple iPhone charger, which they believe contributed to the malfunctioning device.
The story was quickly shared nearly 30,000 times on social media sites, and many were duped into believing that the account was true. But News Watch 33 “makes no guarantees” about the accuracy of its stories, according to its disclaimer.
Contrary to these false reports, there have been no earbud electrocution deaths. The headphones do, however, pose serious health risks. Teenagers have been killed in accidents because earbuds made them unaware of their surroundings. Multiple distracted teenagers wandered into the paths of approaching trains and were killed because they couldn’t hear the warning whistles, according to reports.