Reduce your household’s risk for electrical shock injuries

Electrical shock injuries can have serious consequences, from severe burns that require emergency care to loss of life. Preventing these kinds of injuries is important for your entire family, but children are especially susceptible to injury from electrical shocks. Here is what you need to know about electrical shock injuries and how to prevent them.

What are electrical shock injuries?
Electrical shock injuries occur when someone is exposed to a live electrical current. At home, these kinds of injuries typically occur due to:

  • Exposure to electrical wiring
  • Faulty tools
  • Putting foreign objects into the electrical outlets
  • Power line arcs
  • Cutting of an electrical cord

Young children in particular are prone to injuries cause by sticking fingers or foreign objects into electrical outlets. Children under six are the most common age group for electrical injuries.

What kinds of injuries happen after electrical exposure?
The type and severity of the injury that occurs after an electrical exposure depends on a number of different factors, including the type of current, the voltage and amperage, and the area of the body that was exposed. Some injuries that may occur include:

  • Burns
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Unconsciousness
  • Respiratory failure
  • Hearing impairment

Burns are especially serious injuries. About 3% to 4% of people who enter burn centers for treatment were victims of electrical burns. People with serious electrical burns face a 40% chance of death.

How can I reduce the risk of electrical injuries at home?
Preventing is critical when it comes to electrical injuries. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make your home safer. Consider putting this advice into action:

  • Use safety covers on your outlets
  • Replace any equipment or appliance with frayed cords or that give off a shock
  • Don’t overload outlets or power strips
  • Keep hands and metal objects away from outlets

The ER at MountainView Hospital provides emergency care in Las Vegas for all of your critical healthcare needs, from electrical injuries to strokes and heart attacks. Visit our ER any time, 365 days a year, or contact us at (702) 962-5021 for more information.

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