"My baby still got hurt from something I stupidly never even considered would be an issue."

By Kristi Pahr
December 05, 2019
Baby boy sitting playing with electrical cables
Credit: Artfoliophoto/Getty Images

Toddlers are born mimics. Whether it's testing out pretend recipes in their play kitchens or pretending to wash the car, they love doing the things they see their parents do. Even the most mundane things pique their curiosity and their desire to do it themselves.

In a recent Facebook post, one mother recounted how her toddler's desire to be like mom almost ended in tragedy for her family.

"My daughter was admitted into the hospital Monday after receiving a pretty bad electrical shock from trying to plug my phone charger in," wrote the mom. "Unfortunately this happened right in front of me. I didn't realize she knew how to attempt to plug in a charger until it was too late." The little girl attempted to plug the phone end of the charger into the outlet and "the power strip she tried plugging the charger into popped, shot sparks and what looked like flames and black smoke and threw her a few feet across the living room."

When she was admitted to the emergency room, doctors found an entrance wound but no exit wound and were concerned the shock may have reached her heart. She was kept overnight for observation before being released the next day. Thankfully, the only damage was a burn on her hand.

"Even though my house is baby-proofed with outlet covers, door stoppers, baby gates, stove knob covers, etc," explained the mother, "My baby still got hurt from something I stupidly never even considered would be an issue. Needless to say, all power strips will be hidden in spots she can not get too from now on."

Power Plug Safety Tips

Electrical outlets are a well-known safety hazard and there are many options available for keeping them covered. The most common are plastic caps that slide in to cover the receptacles when they aren't in use. For power-strips, slide in caps can be used or power strips can be placed inside specially-designed locking plastic boxes.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if your child experiences an electrical burn and shows any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • Severe burns
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias)
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Muscle pain and contractions
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

If they are nonresponsive begin CPR immediately while waiting for emergency services to arrive.

For less severe burns, apply a clean, sterile bandage. You should never touch a person who is in contact with a live electrical current. Use a non-conductive material like wood or plastic to gently break contact or turn off the electricity at the breaker.

We're glad this toddler's story had a happy ending and thankful her mom shared their experience to help raise awareness.