Electric shock

Pediatrician Alan Nagar, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on what to do if your child is shocked electrically
Pediatric First Aid - Electric Shocks In Children
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Electric shock

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Electric shocks are a medical problem that we don’t see very often. We do see some and that’s usually the child who licks the outlet – the electrical outlet – or chews on the electrical cord – let’s say from a lamp. And some of those can actually be quite devastating. So for instance, chewing on electrical cord can cause massive burns and electrical injuries to the entire mouth. The reason that’s significant it’s often the mouth or the area surrounding the mouth contracts when it heals – in other words, it shrinks down – so you’ve got a very deformed mouth and the lips are very out of proportion and so it usually requires multiple, multiple plastic surgeries. On the other hand, most electrical injuries are relatively insignificant and really cause sort of an electrical sensation, but don’t cause further problems. The kinds of electrical injuries that are well-know to cause devastating injuries are high-voltage – so telephone post wires if for any reason they come down to the ground and a child plays with huge electrical wires; lightning bolts – so when lightning strikes a child, that can be life threatening by causing both cardiac or heart problems, kidney problems, brain problems. The truth is that we rarely see those kinds of injuries. Most, fortunately, are relatively minor and insignificant in a long run.

Pediatrician Alan Nagar, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, shares advice for parents on what to do if your child is shocked electrically

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Alan Nager, MD, MHA

Pediatrician, Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Alan Nager is Head of the Division of Emergency and Transport Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. Dr. Nager received his undergraduate degree in Public Heath and Child Psychology, his graduate degree in Healthcare Administration, his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and his training in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  He has lectured extensively on a variety of emergency medicine topics, appeared numerous times in the media, and published extensively on topics such as dehydration, trauma, mental health, disaster preparedness, etc. He has also authored a children’s book entitled, Angels in Action: One Day in the Emergency Department.

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