In an unforeseen and tragic turn of events, the news of a 16-year-old girl’s fatal accident shook the world. Maria Antoinetta Cutillo, a vibrant teenager, lost her life due to electrocution after dropping her cell phone in the bath while it was charging.
A Heartbreaking Loss
Maria was engaged in a casual phone call with a friend, she found herself relaxing in the bathtub, her phone plugged in nearby. In a heart-wrenching turn, her grip on the device faltered, and it slipped from her hand, plunging into the water. Within moments, a horrifying short circuit erupted, sending shockwaves of panic and despair through the air.
Understanding the Risk of Your Phone in the Bath
An electrical engineer, Steve Fowler, demonstrated the danger by replicating the scenario that claimed Madison’s life. The experiment starkly highlighted the risks associated with having electronic devices near water sources, particularly in bathrooms. “Anything plugged into a wall should not be near the bathtub,” emphasized Fowler, echoing the critical warning.
Tragically, Madison Coe’s story isn’t an isolated incident. Similar incidents, both nationally and internationally, have drawn attention to the peril of using phones in the bath.
Echoes Around the World
Marie’s story is not an isolated incident. Several similar cases have been reported globally, emphasizing the need for a broader conversation about the dangers of electronics and water.
14-year-old Madison Coe passed under the same circumstances in 2017.2 Her family revealed that she had a habit of using her phone while taking baths, a practice that turned fatal on that fateful day in July. “You’re not supposed to bury your babies,” expressed Madison’s stepmother, Felisha Owens, reflecting the immense grief and shock the family endured.
Madison’s family, both being medical professionals, attempted CPR to revive her, but their efforts were in vain. The accident was attributed to the combination of the phone being connected to a frayed extension cord and water, leading to a deadly electrical shock.
Additionally, reports from France detailed the demise of a 13-year-old girl who suffered an electric shock after dropping her phone in the bath while it was charging.3 Similarly, in Russia, a 24-year-old woman met a similar fate when her iPhone, also plugged in for charging, fell into the water.
These devastating incidents have prompted grieving families to issue poignant warnings. “No phones in the bath because it can end so dramatically,” pleaded the mother of the French teenager. Russian authorities also issued cautions against using electronic devices in bathrooms following the incident.
Raising Awareness and Calls for Caution
Madison Coe’s family hopes her tragic loss will serve as a cautionary tale. They aim to raise awareness about the dangers of using electronic devices in bathrooms, particularly when they are plugged in for charging.4 Donna O’Guinn, Madison’s grandmother, voiced the family’s desire to prevent such tragedies from befalling anyone else.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has taken note of these incidents and is investigating further to prevent future occurrences.
The responsibility to ensure safety falls on each one of us. It’s a shared responsibility among individuals, families, and communities to spread awareness about the risks and take necessary precautions. Simple measures like keeping electronic devices away from water sources and avoiding their use while connected to a power source can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
Phones in the Bath: Safety First
The heartbreaking loss of Madison Coe and the similarly tragic incidents around the world serve as stark reminders of the hazards posed by using electronic devices near water sources. While cell phones themselves might not pose immediate danger, their connection to charging cords and proximity to water can turn deadly.
As Steve Fowler emphatically warned, safety should be a priority. Keeping electronic devices away from water sources, especially in bathrooms, is a crucial precautionary measure to avoid such harrowing and avoidable tragedies.
Through advocacy, education, and proactive steps, we can honor the memory of Madison Coe and others affected by similar tragedies. Together, we can work towards a safer environment, one where preventable accidents in our own sanctuaries, such as the bathroom, become a thing of the past.
In memory of Madison Coe and all those who lost their lives due to such accidents, let us commit to promoting awareness and practicing utmost caution when it comes to using electronic devices near water sources.
This story isn’t just about one tragic incident; it’s a wake-up call for us all. Let’s keep our sanctuaries safe, ensuring that our habits and choices prioritize our well-being and safety above all else.