Most parents take great pains to childproof their homes once their babies start moving around the the house on their own, but there's a huge danger many may overlook, which is why one mom's viral post about the danger of phone chargers is a must-read. According to BuzzFeed, Kentucky mom Courtney Davis said that her 19-month-old daughter, Gabby, received a severe burn after putting a phone charger in her mouth, and she's got the gruesome pictures to prove it. Warning: the graphic images are included below. It's important to remember that in a young child's hands, a phone charger is just as dangerous as the outlet it's plugged into.
From Davis' original Facebook post (which has since been updated with information about her daughter's state):
On Sept 28th my 19 month old stuck my phone charger in her mouth. We went to the Dr who confirmed that it was an electrical burn there was nothing they could put on it due to her being able to lick it. Any other day my charger wouldn't have been plugged up in her reach but bc 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.
Davis has been updating the post with new photos of Gabby's injury as it progresses, and as heartbreaking as they are, she wrote that the baby doesn't seem to feel her burn, or be bothered by it. According to the Mayo Clinic, third degree burns, the most severe type, can destroy nerves and cause numbness. Davis has updated the post to say that although her daughter's burn is looking better now, she will be seeking treatment from a specialist. She also said that the charger involved was for a Samsung Note 5 — not an iPhone as the photo from BuzzFeed would indicate. Samsung did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment.
We may not think of a phone charger as dangerous; most people touch one at least a couple of times a day. But given the right circumstances, it can and will conduct electricity right into the human body, with devastating results. In April, an Alabama man was electrocuted in his bed when his phone charger made contact with the dog tags around his neck, according to The Washington Post. And in July, CNN reported that teenager in Texas died after using her plugged-in phone in the bathtub.
According to Wired, the average mobile phone charger carries a current of 1,000 milliamps. The Center for Construction Research and Training warns a current above just 10 milliamps can paralyze a person's muscles, or even cause them to hold on more tightly to an electrified object. A current of 30 milliamps can cause a person to stop breathing, and anything over 75 milliamps can cause ventricular fibrillation, which can lead to death. Kids and babies are even more susceptible to injury, because people with less muscle mass are affected at lower currents.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, about seven kids under 10 are treated for electrical shocks every day in the United States, and half of them are only 2 or 3 years old. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions parents to bring children to a pediatrician after being shocked, because it may have caused internal damage that can't be detected without an exam. Mouth burns, in particular, "are often much deeper than they appear," and parents should monitor the area for bleeding even days after the injury occurs. As with all electrocution incidents, if you witness your child being shocked, be sure to unplug the cord before touching them, and then check their breathing and pulse, taking care to move them as little as possible in case of a spinal fracture. And thanks to Davis, we now know to keep those chargers far out of reach.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.