Used to be that kids would play in the dirt and come home with ringworm. Now kids are spending a whole lot of time playing on the couch or on the porch and still end up with suspicious skin rashes. What gives? Nickel.
Pediatrics is reporting that there’s an increased number of kids reporting cases of allergic contact dermatitis, a skin irritation that can happen when they come in contact with nickel. They’re coming in contact with the metal when they play on their tablet devices.
Says USA Today, “According to the Mayo Clinic, contact dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that is neither contagious nor life-threatening, but can be uncomfortable.” To treat it, steroid creams and antibiotics have to be applied.
For parents, this is a problem. For tablet makers, this could be a bigger problem.
Many parents hand over a tablet to keep their kids occupied during car rides, long waits and happy hour. (JK on that last one.) So certainly, this is going to put a kink in the works, particularly for kids who are as addicted to the devices as their parents.
With word of this allergic reaction getting around, tablet makers — from Apple to Samsung and beyond — have a new issue to tackle. Marketing teams should be learning as much as they can about this allergy, how much their products contribute to these rashes and what the company is doing to minimize these ill effects.
The AP tells the story of one boy who discovered he had a nickel allergy after a rash broke out all over his body. The cause was traced back to a coating on his iPad. A protective case solved the issue.
“Apple spokesman Chris Gaither said the company’s ‘products are made from the highest quality materials and meet the same strict standards set for jewelry by both the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission and their counterparts in Europe,'” the AP writes.
Microsoft declined comment. Amy Storey, a spokeswoman for CTIA-The Wireless Association, says nickel isn’t widely used in these devices. If this is true, tech companies should broadcast that. Perhaps an education campaign is in order so parents – and their kids — aren’t freaking out.