Four children were electrocuted in three separate incidents involving routine summer activities. Electricity and water are a deadly combination and kids, parents, guardians, and recreation facility personnel need to pay more attention to this man-made hazard to avoid any more deaths or injuries.
- June 28, 2012: An 11 yr old girl, Ashton Jojo, who was vacationing with her family was electrocuted and died at a miniature golf course at at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. She was electrocuted as she tried to retrieve her ball she hit into a small 2 ft deep pond on the course around 2 pm. She and her family were on vacation from New York. A man was injured trying to pull her out of the water. The course is closed and an investigation is pending.
- July 4, 2012: A 13 yr old girl (Alexandra Anderson) and her 8 yr old brother (Brandon Anderson) were electrocuted and died while swimming near a private dock in the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. They could not be revived and were pronounced dead at the hospital. An investigation is pending and they are looking at electricity powered lights and a pump that supplies water to a children's slide used at the dock.
- July 4, 2012: One boy (unnamed) was electrocuted and died while swimming between two house boats by a dock near the German Creek Marina on Cherokee Lake in the town of Bean Station, Tennessee. Another boy swimming with him was shocked at the same time but was revived on a medical helicopter flight. Bystanders who tried to rescued them were shocked as well. The marina was evacuated as a precaution afterwards and an investigation is pending as they try to determine the source of the electrical current. The wiring at the bottom of one of the houseboats may be the source, but it is undetermined at present.
Points for Consideration:
- All three of these instances are tragedies which will affect the families and communities for a long time.
- All of these tragedies could have been avoided with proper installation of electrical devices and safety inspections of recreation facilities and recreation craft.
- There will be lessons learned but often it takes a tragedy to bring attention to safety issues.
- If your children are near water or entering a water environment where there is electricity, these tragedies teach us to "assume nothing". Often people are embarrassed to ask safety related questions, but that type of engagement helps keep others honest, and may save a life.
- Electrocution injuries involve a burn as well as a shock. There are special First Aid considerations not discussed in this blog post. Always activate 911 immediately.
- Rescuing someone who is receiving an ongoing electric shock requires special consideration. First, try to shut off the source of power. If you are unable to shut off the source of power than try to use a wooden stick (broom handle) or dry material to break the victim away from the source of electricity. If those attempting to rescue and render aid become victims than it makes a bad situation even worse.
When in doubt, always check the safety (risk management) of whatever activity your children and loved ones participate. As preposterous as checking for the threat of electrocution is during a lake swim or miniature golf, it could have prevented these deaths. Unfortunately, you make your luck when it comes to safety and security of our children.