First aid for electric shock in children and babies

Providing first aid for electric shock in children and babies: A vital guide

Electric shock incidents involving children and babies can be distressing and potentially life-threatening. As caregivers, parents, or professionals working with young ones, it's crucial to be prepared to administer effective first aid promptly. In this blog, Rose delves into the essential steps to take when faced with such emergencies, including key definitions, pertinent legislation, and best practices to ensure the safety and well-being of the little ones in our care.

Key facts and statistics

  • According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), around 70% of electrical accidents involving children occur at home, highlighting the pressing need for awareness and preparedness.
  • In the UK, an estimated 350,000 people receive medical attention for electrical accidents annually, emphasising such incidents' prevalence and potential severity.

Key definitions

  • Electric shock - Is an injury caused by exposure to electric current passing through the body. It can disrupt normal bodily functions and lead to various complications.
  • Resuscitation - The process of reviving an individual who has stopped breathing or whose heart has stopped, often required in severe electric shock cases.

Relevant legislation, regulations, and best practice

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) outlines employers' responsibility to ensure the safety of employees, including providing adequate training and equipment to deal with electrical hazards.
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 stipulate the need for precautions to prevent electric shock, emphasising the importance of risk assessment and suitable control measures.
  • Best practices recommend installing Residual Current Devices (RCDs) to minimise the risk of electric shock, particularly in domestic settings where children may encounter electrical appliances.

Recognising electric shock symptoms

  • Subtle signs in infants may include irritability, loss of consciousness, or difficulty breathing.
  • In older children, symptoms can range from burns and muscle contractions to cardiac arrest.

Immediate actions to take

  • Ensure safety - Ensure the surrounding area is safe and free from electrical hazards before assisting.
  • Assess the situation - Determine the severity of the shock and the child's condition.
  • Call for help - If necessary, dial emergency services immediately.
  • Administer first aid - Perform CPR or basic life support techniques depending on the severity.


  • Training and preparedness - Encourage parents, caregivers, and childcare professionals to undergo first aid training, specifically addressing electric shock scenarios.
  • Childproofing - Emphasise the importance of childproofing homes and environments to minimise the risk of electrical accidents.
  • Regular maintenance - Advocate for regular inspection and maintenance of electrical appliances and wiring to prevent potential hazards.


In moments of crisis, the ability to respond swiftly and effectively can make all the difference. By familiarising ourselves with first aid procedures for electric shock incidents in children and babies, we empower ourselves to act decisively and potentially save lives. Let's prioritise safety and preparedness to ensure the well-being of our youngest and most vulnerable members of society. 

Take the first step towards safeguarding your loved ones by enrolling in a certified first aid training course today. Click here to learn more and equip yourself with the essential skills to respond confidently in emergencies.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always seek professional medical assistance in emergency situations.

About the author

Rose Mabiza

Rose has dedicated over 15 years to improving health and social care quality through practice, targeted education and training. Her extensive experience includes working with older adults, individuals with mental health conditions, and people with autism and learning disabilities.

Providing first aid for electric shock in children and babies: A vital guide - ComplyPlus™ - The Mandatory Training Group UK -

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