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Hair Dryer Injuries

Hair dryers are a common item found in almost every household in the U.S. However, hair dryers can pose serious safety hazards, including electric shocks, electrocution and burns. Also, hair dryers left plugged in can present a fire hazard.

Electric shocks and electrocution:

Hair dryers usually work off a lower voltage, but if the shock is direct and sustained for a long period of time, it can result in electrocution, which many people equate with death. For example, if the voltage is high enough that the person experiences muscle contractions that won’t allow him/her to let go of the dryer, it can result in death. Or, if the dryer falls into water, such as a bathtub, where the person is, since water acts as a great conduit for current, the person will be much more likely to die.

·        Make sure to unplug your hair dryer and store in a safe place after use.

·        Discard hair dryers immediately if the cord is frayed or damage.

·        Make sure to have a safety breaker that will shut off in case of an electric shock.

·        Never use your hair dryer when there is standing or running water present. Drain the bathtub and the sink, and close the lid to the toilet.

Burns:

Burns occur when the dryer is held in place for too long. Many dryers, if set on the highest setting, can easily reach temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, even when the dryer is turned off, the grills where the air comes out remain very hot for minutes. Children who come in contact with these hot grills can easily be burned. Unfortunately, many child abusers use hair dryers to injure their victims. Children with hair dryer burns should be watched attentively for other signs of abuse.

  • Dry hair using the lowest setting (it’s better for your hair, too).
  • Make sure to avoid touching the grill after use, and store the dryer away from children.
Fire hazards:

Hair dryers can present fire hazards as well, especially if they are malfunctioning, damaged, have frayed cords, and are left plugged in too long.

  • Make sure to unplug the hair dryer after use.
  • Discard the dryer if you notice malfunctioning, frayed cords, or other damage.

Make sure your hair dryer hasn’t been recalled. Check online for recall information.

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