Electrical burns occur when there is contact with an electricity, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).
Caring for an electrical burn:
- Call or send someone to call 911 for emergency medical assistance, significant electrical injuries will need medical care.
- Unplug the appliance or device that has caused the injury or turn off the electrical current.
- If the child is in contact with the electrical current do not touch them until you turn off the source or the circuit breaker.
- Determine that the child is still breathing, if the child is not breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- Cover the burned area with a sterile, dry gauze bandage or clean, dry bed sheet.
- Maintain your child's normal body temperature, and take the child to an emergency center
- Be aware that a child may experience "shock" after an electrical burn. If your child is showing signs of shock, send someone to call 911 immediately.
- Do not give your child anything to eat or drink
- Place the child on his/her back, unless a neck or back injury is suspected
- If the child has vomited or has a serious injury to the face or mouth area, you may lay the child on his/her side.
- Keep your child warm with blankets or extra clothing, but do not use a heat source to warm them.
- Elevate your child's feet and legs, using a prop or pillow
What are the symptoms of shock?
The following are the most common symptoms of shock. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of shock may include:
- cold sweat
- irregular breathing
- pale or blue-colored lips
- pale or blue-colored fingernails
- a fast, but weak pulse
The symptoms may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your child's physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment.