A Phone Charger Kills a Little Girl by Electrocution
A story is circulating online that a small girl put the end of a phone charger into her mouth and died of electrocution. According to the report, the charger was plugged into the wall and the child put the pin into her mouth, killing her instantly.
What is electrocution?
A shock is not the same as an electrocution. An electrocution happens when the electric current is so strong that it causes severe internal burns and cardiac arrest. A shock, on the other hand, will be painful, and cause a person to drop the electric item immediately. A shock can also cause damage to nerves, muscles and internal organs, reports the American Burn Association.
How are people most often harmed by shock?
Shocks often cause falls. Usually, a person is working with electrical equipment, and the jolt or surprise of a shock causes the individual to fall from a ladder or roof and be badly hurt.
How are children harmed by shock?
Children will play with any appliance they can get access to. The cord is convenient to bite on, and children like to chew on items. Small appliances are a serious hazard when they are lying around bathtubs or swimming pools. This is because water is a strong conductor of electricity. When the child bites an electrical cord with bare wire while standing in moisture, a shock will be instantaneous.
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What to do if your child is being shocked:
- Do not touch live wires! Use a dry stick or rolled newspaper to pull the chord away from the child.
- Disconnect the power source.
- Do not move the child! Electric shock can cause spinal fracture.
- When the power is off, check the child’s pulse, breathing, alertness and skin color.
- Call 911 or a doctor right away.
- Mouth burns may appear if the child bit a cord. Internal injuries may not be visible, such as heart or brain damage.
How Can a child be electrocuted by a phone charger?
A serious shock to the child with the end of the charger cord in her mouth would imply that somehow, dangerous high-voltage power jumped from a high-voltage coil to the low-voltage coil contained in the charger. This is an assumption. Then the current would need to move up the wire and the extreme voltage would likely burn through the cord before electrocuting a toddler.
What can be done to avoid such a potential accident to a child?
Parents need to be extremely vigilant with toddlers around electrical appliances of all kinds, particularly cords that charge items. Chargers should never be left plugged into electrical outlets when not in use.
If chargers or cords look worn, replace them. It’s not worth fire or shock to save money on a charge cord.
When visiting foreign countries, be sure the charger is certified by UL in the US or a proper certification lab in another country.
Children are electrocuted or shocked by cords of all kinds every year. Whether or not the story of the child electrocuted by a phone charger is true does not change shock statistics for toddlers. Be vigilant!