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     Volume 4 Issue 11 | September 3 , 2004 |

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In Case of Emergency
Electrical shock first aid

Babies and toddlers are eye level to electrical outlets and like to poke objects in them. Most parents have the outlets covered, but what do you do if your child's gets curious at a home where they are not covered and pokes a screwdriver into the outlet? Or perhaps they are playing with a wire that is old and coming apart, they stick it into their mouth and are getting shocked. A severe electric shock may knock a child unconscious, burn them, cause internal damage and may stop breathing. A mild shock may simply hurt and scare them. This article is what to do in severe shock cases.

If your child is getting an electrical shock your first instinct is to grab them away from the current but don't! You will be joined into the electrical current and not be able to help your child. Your first step is to switch the current off, if you can. If this is not possible, you need to get a non-conductive item like a wooden stick or a broom handle and push away or lift off the source of the current. Push it far enough away so that it won't re-conduct, then quickly run back to the victim.

Now that the current is disconnected from your child, check to see if they are breathing. To do this put your finger under the jaw to feel a pulse and your ear by their nose, watch for the rise and fall of their chest. If they are not breathing start Cardio Pulmonary Resucitation and call for emergency medical help.

If they are breathing you should take them into the emergency room for an examination. There can be internal injuries that you can not see, even if the external burn looks minor. You can treat the burn if it looks minor like a normal burn. But, going to the emergency room should preclude this if it was a severe shock.

Electrical fires are different than other fires. Because water conducts electricity, throwing water on an electrical fire can cause the fire to get larger. Here is what to do:
1. NEVER use water on an electrical fire.
2. Tell an adult to turn off the main power to the house.
3. If the fire can be put out safely, tell an adult to use a proper chemical fire extinguisher. If the fire cannot be put out safely, leave the house and take everyone with you.
4. Call 199 or 9555555 and tell them it is an electrical fire.

If someone has been electrocuted, there's a chance they may still be in contact with the source of the electricity. Do NOT touch the person or anything he or she is touching. You could become part of electricity's path and be shocked or even killed! Take these three steps:
1. Tell an adult to turn off the main power to the house.
2. Call for help. Tell them it is an electrical accident.
3. When the victim is not in contact with the source of electricity and you're sure there is no danger, tell an adult to give first aid for electrical injury. This may include CPR.
4. Don't touch burns, break blisters or remove burned clothing. Electrical shock may cause burns inside the body, so be sure the person is taken to a doctor.

Electricity is always trying to get to the ground. Like all good travellers, electricity takes shortcuts whenever it can. If something that conducts electricity gives electricity an easy path to the ground, electricity will take it!

Source: SEC.com/ Essortment.com

How to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

*Place victim flat on his/her back on a hard surface.
*Shake victim at the shoulders and shout "are you okay?"
*If no response, call emergency medical system.
*Head-tilt/chin-lift - open victims' airway by tilting their head back with one hand while lifting up their chin with your other hand.


*Position your cheek close to victims' nose and mouth, look toward victims' chest, and
*Look, listen, and feel for breathing (5-10 seconds)
*If not breathing, pinch victim's nose closed and give 2 full breaths into victim's mouth.
*If breaths won't go in, reposition head and try again to give breaths. If still blocked, perform abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver).


*Check for carotid pulse by feeling for 5-10 seconds at side of victims' neck.
*If there is a pulse but victim is not breathing, give Rescue breathing at rate of 1 breath every 5 seconds Or 12 breaths per minute
*If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions as follows:
*Place heel of one hand on lower part of victim's sternum. With your other hand directly on top of first hand, Depress sternum 1.5 to 2 inches.
*Perform 15 compressions to every 2 breaths. (rate: 80-100 per minute) check for return of pulse every minute.


Source: Openseason.com/healthclub/cpr




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