We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
What happens if my baby gets an electric shock?
If your baby touches an electric current — with his finger, foot, or mouth, for example — the current runs through part of his body. Depending on the strength and type of current and how long your baby holds on, it can cause a split-second sensation, a burn, or a serious injury.
An electric shock can be very minor and not cause any long-term damage. A strong enough current, though, can enter your baby's body at one location and leave it at another, damaging all the tissue in its path.
If your baby suffers an electric shock, he may have skin burns; numbness or tingling; muscle contractions, pain, or weakness; a headache; or hearing impairment. A big enough shock can make your baby unconscious, stop his breathing, or cause seizures, cardiac arrest, damage to his brain, heart, or other organs, or even death.
What should I do if my baby is shocked?
If you're witnessing the shock, shut off the source of the electricity if you can — unplug the cord, turn off circuit breakers, or remove the fuse from the fuse box.
Don't touch your baby with your bare hands while he's in contact with the electric current and don't reach into water in which there's an electric current, or you may be electrocuted. If you need to break your child's connection with the current, use an object that's not metallic and won't conduct electricity, like a wooden broom or a rolled-up magazine.
If your baby is no longer in contact with the current, check his breathing. If he's not breathing, have someone call 911 while you give CPR. If you're alone with your baby, give him CPR for two minutes, then call 911.
If your baby's breathing is fine, check his skin color. Call for emergency help if he seems pale. Continue to monitor your baby's breathing and begin CPR if he stops breathing.
Look for burned skin. An electric shock can cause a serious burn. Even if a burn doesn't look too bad on the outside, it could be deep and painful. And burns on the lips are sometimes hard to see.
If your baby has a burn, don't put ice, ointment, or anything else on it. Unless you're sure the burn is very minor, take your baby to the emergency room right away. (If it's very minor, you can take your baby to his doctor instead.)
The doctor can clean and dress your baby's burn and also check for internal damage, which can be hard for you to detect. If you think your baby's in any pain, ask the doctor if you can give him acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
If the doctor thinks your baby may have suffered internal organ damage, she may run lab tests. And if your baby has severe burns or internal damage, he'll be hospitalized.
What are the most common causes of electric shocks?
For babies, the most common causes are:
- Biting or chewing on electrical cords
- Poking metal objects into outlets or pressing mouth against outlet
- Playing with electrical cords and lights (on Christmas trees, for example)
What can I do to prevent electric shocks?
Here are some very tangible steps you can take to protect your baby from electric shock:
- Until your baby learns to stay away from outlets, cover them with plug covers and position heavy furniture in front of them if you can.
- Replace frayed wires and keep all electrical cords out of reach.
- Make sure all appliances in your home have an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.
- Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for outlets in the bathroom, kitchen, and yard. A GFCI is a fast-acting circuit breaker designed to shut off electric power if the flow of electricity is interrupted. These circuit breakers will help prevent electric shock in damp areas.
- Unplug appliances when not in use in the bathroom, or use them in another room. (Dry your hair in the bedroom rather than in the bathroom, for example.)
- When outdoors with your child, watch for broken electrical poles and downed wires — especially after a storm.