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January 1962

Electrical Burns in Infancy and Early Childhood: A Review of the Current Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal 2.; Pediatric Surgeon, Former Chief Resident Surgeon, Departments of Pediatric Surgery, Boston City Hospital and Boston Floating Hospital, Boston. Present address: 14 Stournara St., Athens, Greece.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(1):35-38. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020039006

The incidence of electrical burns among children has risen in the last few years, with increasing use of electricity in the household.

Electrical cords carelessly left on the floor, or outlets in the wall, may become objects of curiosity to be tested by the child. Items of curiosity are often grasped and invariably go into the mouth of the young child. Consequently, electrical injuries in this age group more commonly affect the hand and the mouth. The total number of accidents from electricity in children is difficult to estimate. Such accidents are not very common, but occur frequently enough to merit serious consideration by pediatricians and surgeons. Although medical literature has dealt extensively with thermal burns in the pediatric age group, electrical burns have received little attention.

The majority of children with these injuries present a different problem from that seen in adults. In the latter, most of the electrical

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