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|Classification of Skin Burns|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Children biting on electrical cords
- Poking utensils or other metal objects into electrical outlets or appliances, like a plugged-in toaster
- Failing to shut the power supply before making home repairs or installation
- Dropping a plugged-in appliance into water
- Occupational accidents due to, for example, electric arcs from high-voltage power lines. (Electric arcs occur when a burst of electricity jumps from one electrical conductor to another, such as flashes of electricity from the wheels of an electrically powered train or where a trolley car connects to an overhead power line.)
- Lightening strikes
- Visible burns on the skin
- Muscle contraction or pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Bone fractures
- Feeling disoriented
- Low blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmias
- First-degree burns—Injury is only to the outer layer of skin. They are red and painful, and may cause some swelling. The skin turns white when touched.
- Second-degree burns—These burns are deeper and more severe. They cause blisters and the skin is very red or splotchy. There may be more significant swelling.
- Third-degree burns—These cause damage to all layers of the skin down to the tissue underneath. The burned skin looks white or charred. These burns may cause little or no pain because the nerves in the skin are destroyed.
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—to detect rhythm disturbances of the heart
- Urine or blood tests—to check for severe damage to muscles
- Use child safety plugs in all outlets.
- Keep electrical cords out of children's reach.
- Avoid electrical hazards by following manufacturer's safety instructions when using electrical appliances. Always turn off circuit breakers before making repairs to wiring.
- Avoid using electrical appliances while showering or wet.
- Never touch electrical appliances while touching faucets or cold water pipes.
- Avoid being out in lightening storms.
Burn Prevention Foundations http://www.burnprevention.org
Safe Kids Worldwide http://www.safekids.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Healthy U http://www.healthyalberta.com
Browne BJ, Gaasch WR. Electrical injuries and lightning. Emerg Med Clin North Am . 1992; 10:211.
Cawley JC, Homce GT. Occupational electrical injuries in the United States, 1992-1998, and recommendations for safety research. J Safety Res. 2003; 34:241.
Cooper MA. Electrical and lightning injuries. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1984; 2:489
DynaMed Editors. Electrical burn. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated November 30, 2009. Accessed August 10, 2010.
Family Doctor. Fire safety. Family Doctor.org website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=107&cat%5Fid=150&article%5Fset=21666. Accessed October 20, 2010.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 00/11/2014