(photo credit: REUTERS)
Fourteen children have died of electrocution during the past six years, according to Beterem, the Israel National Center for Child Safety and Health, following the death by electrocution last week of a 12-year-old Negev Beduin boy.
The youngster, whom a friend dared to climb an electric poll, touched live wires, was severely burned and fell seven meters, leaving him with extensive injuries from which he did not recover.
Nine of those fatally injured were Arabs, said Beterem director Orly Silbinger, who noted that for several years, it has been warning of the link between children from poorer families and deaths from accidents. “There are kids who have no games, computers or playgrounds, so they look for other challenging activities,” she explained.
Of the 16 who were electrocuted since 2008, four were Jewish; the background of the 14th was not reported.
Fifty-seven percent of the cases occurred in and around the home, while the rest were in public spaces. Nearly eight out of 10 victims were boys.
Statistically most electrocutions occurred between the ages of 10 and 14, with five deaths, and three deaths in the 15-to-17 age group. At least seven in 10 were killed by an electrical device. According to Beterem, a Beduin child is 12 times more at risk of being electrocuted than a Jewish child.
A previous case of death by electrocution of a Beduin boy involved a 13-year-old who was burnt all over his body after he touched a high-power line near his home. A 10-yearold from a Beduin village was also killed when he touched an exposed electrical cable on his roof. A 16-year-old working at a construction site near Tiberias was electrocuted and died in the Italian Hospital in Nazareth.
It also happens to Jewish girls – a 10-year-old from Kfar Saba was fatally electrocuted in the shower of her family’s Amidar home. It was renovated three years before, but there was no grounding in the bath or automatic cutoff in the event of an “electricity leak,” Beterem said.
The girl touched a faucet and was killed instantly.
A five-year-old boy in Kiryat Motzkin died in a baby pool in the Gali Gil country club when he touched the water after an electric “mushroom” device that sprays water short circuited.