LITTLE Alfie Mitchell has been turned off computer games after his tablet blew up in his hands.
The seven-year-old was badly shaken up when the electronic device exploded as he played on his favourite app, Talking Tom.
Now mum Shara has urged other parents to make sure their children are safe using electronic toys.
“It was awful, it’s lucky he wasn’t badly injured or burned,” she said at home in Heathfield Drive, Brookfield, Preston.
“Alfie was very shocked. We all were. You don’t expect things like that to just blow up without warning.
“I wouldn’t have been as bothered if it had been me holding it. But something as shocking as that is going to have a big effect on a seven-year-old.
“It took me ages to get him to sleep that night. We have another tablet and he wouldn’t go near it for days. He was frightened it might happen again.”
The device, a Proscan 7-inch 4GB Dual Core tablet, was bought for £39.99 from the Toys R Us store in Preston’s Deepdale Retail Park.
It seems Alfie isn’t the only youngster whose Proscan battery exploded, blowing the tablet apart while it was in use.
There are reports that a seven-year-old in Pittsburgh in the United States suffered a hand injury in a similar incident. His parents said the blast was “like a gunshot going off.”
Jason Sellars, who was in the lounge when Alfie’s device erupted, said: “He was just sitting quietly on the settee playing his favourite game and suddenly there was a bang. He screamed and started crying.
“The battery exploded like an airbag, it blew the screen off and the tablet is in three pieces now. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt, but it’s still affected him. It really scared him.
“We got the tablet for him about 18 months ago. It was Toys R Us who recommended that one.
“Alfie looked after it. It was his pride and joy. He loved playing on it and the educational app Talking Tom was his favourite.
“We just want to warn other parents to be careful when their kids are playing on these tablets. Things like this might be very rare. But as Alfie found out, they can still happen.”
The Proscan 7-inch tablet is manufactured in China by Curtis International Limited, a company based in Canada. The Evening Post contacted the company in Ontario three days ago, but we are still awaiting a response.
In the meantime, Toys R Us has responded to the complaint by apologising to Alfie and offering to exchange the tablet with an upgraded model of his choice.
“We’re very grateful to Toys R Us for doing that,” said Jason. “Alfie now has a new 10-inch tablet and he’s getting over his ordeal.”