Children are by nature extremely inquisitive. By being curious and asking questions, children learn about the world around them. They must, however, be protected from exposure to undue harm while they embark upon the learning process. Electricity poses one of the more serious potential threats to their safety.
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Parents, Kids and Electricity
Electricity enhances almost every aspect of human living. The convenience of electricity allows for experiencing great levels of comfort and ease of living. But when its awesome power is not respected, electricity can be the cause of the greatest of human regret. Young children do not understand that the same power that helps mommy make the homemade ice cream can also be very dangerous. Parents are responsible for creating the line of demarcation between children and electricity.
How to Keep Protect Children From Electrocution
Teach children not to touch electric cords and outlets. Install protective covers on all electrical sockets; preferably the type with shutters that require insertion into both holes simultaneously. Block wall outlets with furniture if possible, use ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the bathroom, kitchen and yard. Replace frayed wires and keep electrical cords out of reach. Prevent children from swimming or paying outside during electrical storms and supervise children when they play with toys that run on electricity.
What to Do if a Child is Shocked
If a child is shocked, results can range from minor to severe. If present when your child is shocked, immediately shut off the electricity. Unplug the cord, turn off circuit breakers and/or remove fuses. Do not touch the child with bare hands if he is in contact with electric current and never place your hand in water where there is an electric current. If the child is not in contact with current, check breathing; if you're alone administer CPR for two minutes then call 911. If another person is present have her call 911 while you give CPR.
While it may seem logical to assume that electrical shocks are experienced more by toddlers and youngsters than those older in age, adolescents and adults are prone to electric shock due to mischievous activity in the workplace. There are about 1,000 deaths a year from electrocution, mostly job-related. Children are primarily shocked by low voltage, 110 to 220, found in homes. One study revealed that children 12 and under experienced 63 per cent of injuries involving appliance electrical cords and extension cords and 15 per cent of wall outlet-related injuries.
Even after "child-proofing" the house--installing outlet protectors--it is still necessary to be an attentive parent or guardian to prevent injury to small children from electric shock. It is advisable that parents enrol into a CPR course to learn basic emergency life-saving techniques. Young children should be taught how to dial 911 and get help from a neighbour if the parent is unable to do so.
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