You’ve probably been shocked before by static electricity, like when you walk across carpet and then touch a doorknob. But a real electric shock is a lot more painful than that and a lot more dangerous …
The Effects Of Electric Shock On The Human Body
Here’s what can happen:
Muscles tighten up, making it almost impossible to pull away from the circuit.
Lungs constrict, making it hard to breathe.
Heartbeat is interrupted and blood vessels tighten.
Burns occur where the electricity enters and leaves the body.
It sounds scary – and it is – but if you remember the safety rules, you can use electricity without getting hurt. The most important thing to remember is this:
“Human beings are good conductors of electricity!”
That means that electricity flows easily through our bodies. Why? Because electricity moves quickly through water and the human body is 70 percent water! Another fact you need to remember is that electricity always tries to find the easiest path to the ground.
You may think that if you get shocked, you can pull away quickly and not get hurt. But electricity travels at the speed of light, so a person has almost no chance of pulling away. And if the electricity is strong enough, it can cause the victim’s muscles to tighten up so much so that they can’t let go.
Anyone who touches someone who is being electrocuted can become part of the circuit as well. That’s why you should never grab anyone who’s been shocked.
But what should you do if you saw someone getting shocked? Would you know? It’s important to know the rules of electric safety so you don’t get hurt yourself.
“Do not touch the victim because you might get shocked too!”
If your children see someone getting an electric shock, tell them to find a grown-up right away and ask to turn off the power at service panel. Call 999 and be sure to tell the person who answers that someone has been involved in an electrical accident. Even if the person seems OK after getting a mild shock, it’s important to always go the hospital or see a doctor.
Electricity burns from the inside out, so some injuries might not be easy to see. The heart and other internal organs can be affected several hours after the accident.
If you’re in a car or bus accident involving a power line, your first impulse might be to jump out of the vehicle. But the safest thing to do is stay in your vehicle until help arrives. Why? Because the metal parts of the car might be energized. If you touch the outside of the car and the ground at the same time, you could get shocked.
“Be very careful not to touch the car and the ground at the same time!”
If you absolutely must leave the vehicle, hop out with your feet together, making sure to land on both feet. Be very careful not to touch the car and the ground at the same time. Continue carefully hopping with your feet together in short hops until you’re as far away as possible.
Until next time …