Profile of a typical victim and incident:

  • Male
  • 2 or 3 years old
  • Injured at home
  • Inserted a hairpin into a receptacle
  • Suffered a 1st or 2nd degree electric burn to a finger
  • Emotional trauma to child and parents
  • Required emergency room treatment

Objects inserted are everyday, easily accessible household items:

Objects Inserted Into Receptacles

Hairpin – 32% Unidentified – 8%
Keys – 17% Paper clip or Staple – 5%
Finger – 12% Tool (i.e. tweezer, file, or knife) – 3%
Pin, wire, screw or nail – 11% Jewelry or belt buckle – 1%
Plug – 11%  

An analysis of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) data over a 10 year period (1991 – 2001) found:

  • 24,000+ children under 10 years old were treated in emergency rooms for incidents related to electrical receptacles – about 7 children per day
  • 89% are under 6 years old
  • 50% are 2-3 years old, the highest-risk group
  • Boys are the highest risk, regardless of age

Typical Location of Incidents:

Outlet injury locations


A Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) 8-year study (1996 – 2003) of 14 hospitals found:

  • 465 children under 9 years old were treated in emergency rooms for incidents related to electrical receptacles
  • Close to 85% were under 4 years of age
  • Most cases required advice and follow-up
  • 3% were admitted or transferred
  • 40% were between 3-6 years old
  • 79% were injured at home
  • 69% were injured when an object was placed in an outlet

Incident by Age Group

Receptacle Injuries by Age Group


National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) Business Information Services Estimates:

  • Tamper Resistant Receptacles are only 50 cent more than a traditional receptacle
  • Increase cost of $2.25 per unit for a GFCI receptacle with Tamper Resistant features
  • Total increase cost per average home to install Tamper Resistant Receptacles is under $50

Data Source

Data source & more information PDF.