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Electrical burns occur when there is contact with electricity, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).
- 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 him/her 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 gauze bandage or clean 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 place 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.
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.
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