Toddler Sucks On a USB Cable, Ends Up in the Hospital

Illustration for article titled Toddler Sucks On a USB Cable, Ends Up in the Hospital

Here's a sad reminder that USB cables belong plugged into peripherals, not children. Toddler Trinity Anderson was playing with a USB cable plugged into a laptop and put it in her mouth, which shocked her and knocked her out.

Trinity remains at Children's Hospital with third-degree burns on her tongue, palate and lips. She is on sedatives and paralyzing drugs to prevent her from moving and disturbing her breathing tube, Jeffrey Anderson said. She needs the tube because her tongue is so swollen it blocks her airway.

Anderson said he feels helpless as he watches his granddaughter in her hospital bed.

"I want to make it better and there's nothing I can do," he said.

Anderson said doctors plan to allow Trinity to regain consciousness in the next day or two to assess how much neurological damage occurred. The little girl wasn't breathing for several minutes, and her heart nearly stopped beating.

Anderson said doctors expect Trinity to recover from her burns, though she may have lasting cosmetic damage. Right now, the family's main concern is that the happy, laughing little girl does not suffer serious brain damage, and they hope she is young enough that she can recover any lost capabilities.

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This was clearly a freak accident, but it's a good reminder that while these cables and gadgets we use are now commonplace, everyday items, they still carry a current and should be treated with care. Here's hoping Trinity makes a full recovery. [Colorado Daily]

DISCUSSION

This story from the parents warrants some SERIOUS scrutiny from CPS. Seriously, there is no way 5VDC at 500mA is going to cause this kind of damage. The 5V isn't enough to break the resistance of a human being and the amperage isn't enough to cause 3rd degree burns (it does however take a mere ~30mA to disrupt heart rhythm). People don't get third degree burns from the much higher voltages and capacities of wall sockets, though they most certainly end up getting killed via cardiac disruption.

I once made contact with an electric fence when I was five years old (Not 100% aware of what I was standing next to) Grasped it with BOTH hands and it knocked me flat on my ass. I didn't receive any burns on my hands and apart from wondering WTF just happened I was fine. Mind you this electric fence wasn't messing around, its the kind meant to keep cattle contained and I just took a shot straight through my heart.