Most electric-shock incidents involving children occur in the home through contact with electrical outlets, cords, or appliances. Infants and toddlers are particularly at risk of shock from biting electrical cords or inserting objects into electrical sockets. Most of these shocks cause minor injuries or burns unless the child is standing in water when the electrical contact is made.
Serious injuries or death from electric shock (electrocution) usually results from direct contact with high-voltage wires that have fallen during storms or may occur when children climb a power pole and touch an electric box or wire. Electric shock is always possible during an electrical storm, particularly if persons are on or in water or take shelter under trees or near any other structures that will conduct electricity from a lightning strike.
Electric Shock Treatment
- Break the child’s contact with the electrical source using a non conducting object such as a wooden stick. Do not touch the victim until you are certain he is no longer in contact with the source of electricity.
- If the child is not breathing or has no pulse, begin rescue breathing or CPR.
- Call for emergency help immediately.
Electric Shock Prevention
- Cover all electrical outlets with safety plugs when infants and toddlers are in the house.
- Unplug bathroom and other small appliances when they are not in use.
- Keep electrical cords out of children’s reach.
- Teach children to never touch any electrical equipment while in the bathtub or use any electrical appliance or equipment when standing on a wet surface.
- Warn older children to stay away from outdoor electrical wires. This includes avoiding any fallen wires and staying off poles that hold power lines or electric boxes.
- Keep children inside during electrical storms. At the first sign of lightning, get them out of swimming pools, rivers, or ponds, whether they are swimming or in a boat. Teach children not to seek shelter under trees when there is lightning, but to go to the nearest indoor shelter.