A mom is reminding parents to be extra careful when it comes to leaving phone chargers plugged in the wall.
Courtney Davis of Glasgow, Ky., recently posted several graphic images of her daughter on Facebook, after the 19-month-old toddler got an electric burn from putting a plugged-in phone charger in her mouth.
“She had never tried to put it in her mouth and she had never messed with it. The one day it isn’t moved she stuck it in her mouth and got a severe burn,” the mom wrote in her Facebook post. “Any other day my charger wouldn’t have been plugged up in her reach but [because] of a bunch of stuff going on that day, I didn’t have time to move it. It took all of a few seconds for her to get burned.”
According to updates on the social media site, Davis said she spoke with a doctor on Wednesday who said her daughter Gabby will be referred to a plastic surgeon. And as her post went viral, many inquired about the type of charger that burnt her.
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“I have received quite a few messages wanting to know what kind of charger it was. It was a store bought charger that fits a Samsung Note 5,” she wrote.
On Facebook, she posted several photos of Gabby’s burn, from what it looked like on the day it happened, to more graphic photos of what it looks like now. And although this is one tragic experience, she is hoping parents, in general, are more alert.
“I wasn’t going to post about this until I posted in a mom group and found out many parents don’t think twice about the danger of a phone charger around children.”
Davis adds her daughter doesn’t seem to be bothered by the burn itself.
This is quite common
Dr. Marc Jeschke, medical director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, says these cases happen quite often.
“Kids can chew on cables, bite through and it can do significant damage,” he tells Global News. “I would not suspect this to be a hoax… I’ve been working with burns since the ’90s and this is very common.”
Jeschke says in order for an electrical burn to happen, electricity has to be able to flow through the charger and into the child’s mouth, for example, like it happened in this case. He says children end up chewing through wires or through a loose end that sticks out of the cord.
According to the Winchester Hospital, temporary or permanent damage from electric burns can occur to the skin, tissues, and major organs. And like other burns, electrical burns are also categorized into three degrees.
“To me, it’s common sense, if you have a plugged-in charger, don’t let your kids chew on it. I don’t care how busy you are, make sure it’s a safe home for your children.”
But accidents do happen and parents can forget things like plugged-in phone chargers from time to time. Jeschke adds outlets in general need to be safe because children also tend to insert objects like hangers or pencils into wall outlets. And any wire can be dangerous, he adds.
Keeping your home safe
According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, electrical outlets are usually right at a baby’s eye-level and anything from dangling wires to empty sockets can be appealing to a curious child.
And often, babies tend to chew on these objects or play with them with wet fingers.
“You wouldn’t leave acid on a table for a child, it’s the same for electricity,” Jeschke says.
The society has come up with the following tips for keeping your children safe from electric shocks or burns:
- Put safety covers on all electrical outlets that are not in use.
- Ensure unused safety plugs are out of baby’s reach.
- Use only electrical cords provided by the manufacturer of the appliance or fixture, and keep out of reach.
- Use extension cords that are the single-receptacle type. Cover empty outlets with safety plugs.