A mild electric shock goves only a brief pins-and-needles sensation. A severe one can knock your child down, render him unconscious and stop both breathing and heartbeat and even burn him. An electrical burn may look quite harmless – a tiny bluish mark. But, it will have caused wide damage to the tissues underneath. Electric current closes up the superficial blood vessels.
All electric burns should be treated by a doctor.
The severity of an electric shock depends on a large number of factors, such as whether the victim touched the power source with wet or dry hands or happened to be wearing rubber soled shoes at the time. If he has touched the power source with wet hands, he is likely to get a worse shock than touching it with dry hands.
Switch off the main source of the current if possible. If you cannot do that, do not follow your instinct and snatch him away. You will not be able to help because he will be “live”. Stand on an insulating material like a rubber mat or a pile of dry newspapers and separate your child from the electrical source by pushing it with a non-conducting object like a wooden chair or a broom handle.
If the child is unconscious, he must be rushed to hospital. If he seems to be dead, start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage if you know how to. If you do not, do not waste a second, get him to a hospital.
- Do not allow your child to touch any plugs or switching on electrical appliances.
- Do not buy toys that are powered from the mains source of power even through a transformer, at least until he is old enough to understand how the poer source works. Transformers can go wrong.
- Do not let a child use an electric blanket – a wet bed or a spilt drink can make it dangerous.
- Have all electrical appliances earthed. Have three core cables and three pin plugs for every appliance.
- Always keep switch sockets in the off position, so that even if your child turns the mixer on, it will not harm him.
- Use dummy plugs on every unused socket, so that the child does not poke things into the holes.
- Use correct ampage fuses as indicated on electrical appliances.
- Do not have wires trailing around the house which can be tripped on.