Electric Shock: management and prevention

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Prevention of accidents due to electric appliances is always better than trying to deal with the effects of electrocution. Appliances should have the correct fuse and be adequately insulated. Any bare wires should mean that the appliance is fixed straight away or thrown out.

Here we shall deal with what to do in case an accident does take place.


Step 1: Switch off the power or pull out the plug. If this is not possible, remove the wire from the child with any piece of wood or stiff plastic. If that is not handy, roll up a magazine or use a jacket or a rope. Never use your bare hands or metal and make sure the victim is not in water that could touch you.

Step 2: If the child is alert and has no burns, reassure them and keep a close eye for any delayed reactions like breathing problems.

Step 3: If the child has burns, visit your doctor or hospital to have the wounds dressed and also to rule out damage to any internal organs.

Step 4: Severe burns may lead to hospitalization..

Step 5: In extreme cases, the child can have cardiopulmonary arrest. This is caused by overstimulation of the heart which relies on electrical impulses to tell it to beat. If the child is not breathing or has no pulse, start mouth to-mouth breathing and CPR.

Step 6: Some children can get severe convulsions with resultant injuries, including fracture of the spine. Such children should be handled carefully and shifted to the hospital under careful medical supervision. 

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