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Electrical Burn in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Electrical burns are injuries that are caused by an electric current. The electric current can pass through your child's body and damage tissues or organs. An electric current may also jump from an electrical source to his body and burn his skin.
- Ointments: These medicines prevent infection and help your child's burn heal. The ointment may be placed on your child's skin, or it may be part of his bandage.
- Pain medicine: Your child may need medicine to take away or decrease pain. Know how often your child should get the medicine and how much. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell healthcare providers if his pain continues or gets worse. To prevent falls, stay with your child to help him get out of bed.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Your child may need to return to have his wound checked and bandage changed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Pressure garments help keep thick scars from forming. Your child may need to wear a garment for most of the day. Pressure garments are custom made to fit your child. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information about pressure garments.
Your child's burn will be covered with a bandage to keep it moist and clean. You may clean the burn with soap and water. Ask how often you should clean your child's wound and change the bandage.
- Physical therapy: Your child's muscles and joints may not work well after an electrical burn. He may need to see a physical therapist to teach him exercises that will improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your child's risk for loss of function. Your child may need to wear splints or casts to help prevent his muscles from shrinking. This may help prevent his joints and bones from becoming deformed.
- Massage therapy: A massage therapist may help your child feel less pain. Massage therapy may also help prevent thick scars from forming.
- Speech therapy: A speech therapist may work with your child to help him talk if he has had an electrical burn in his mouth.
Prevent electrical burns in children:
- Put socket covers on all unused electric outlet plugs in your home.
- Never allow your child to touch, bite, or suck on wires.
- Cover or fix wires that are exposed. Replace damaged electric cords. Do not use extension cords.
- Use safety cords, such as circuit breakers or ground fault interrupters.
- Keep electric machines out of your child's reach.
- Turn off and unplug electric machines when not in use. Do not use electric machines near water.
- Supervise your child when he is playing with electric toys.
- Do not allow your child to play with an electric toy that does not have an Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) safety label. Do not allow your child to play with damaged electric toys.
Safety measures to teach your child:
- Never touch or put anything inside of an electric outlet.
- Never touch an electric machine without your permission.
- Never touch a water heater or a radiator (room heater).
- Never touch anything during a storm that uses electricity, including computers, telephones, and radios.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child feels dizzy or weak.
- Your child has problems moving or keeping his balance.
- Your child has stiffness or pain in his muscles.
- Your child has swelling, bleeding, or damage in his mouth.
- You have any questions or concerns about your child's condition, treatment, or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your child has trouble breathing.
- Your child has trouble thinking or staying awake.
- Your child fainted.
- Your child has a seizure.
- Your child suddenly has trouble seeing or hearing.
- Your child has red or reddish black urine.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.