Experts Answer "What If" Questions

What if my child sticks her finger into a socket?

A standard household current would give her a mild shock, similar to that from static electricity, says Liza DeWitt, M.D., a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. She'd be startled and probably pull her hand away, but electrical skin burns can still occur. What can be more serious is not pulling away immediately, which can put her at risk of internal organ damage. All children who have received a significant electrical shock need to see their doctor for evaluation.

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