South Nowra couple issue warning to childproof your home

Oscar suffered horrific burns to his palate, lips and tongue after he suffered an electric shock. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson
Oscar suffered horrific burns to his palate, lips and tongue after he suffered an electric shock. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson

Claire and Hugh Karlson have lived through every parent's nightmare after their baby son suffered an electric shock.

Thankfully, 14-month-old Oscar, who had somehow pulled the power cord from a floor lamp and put the exposed wires in his mouth, has made a full recovery.

The accident has prompted Mrs Karlson to issue a warning for parents to "childproof their homes" and be aware of any "possible dangers".

Even though Oscar was conscious, I didn't know whether his heart would stop and if he would even survive.

"We thought we had child-proofed our home, this came from left-field," the South Nowra mum said.

Oscar was playing behind the lounge, when the accident happened.

"There was a loud bang and Oscar was screaming," she said.

"When the cord was removed the power didn't trip, it was still plugged into the powerpoint and Oscar suffered 240V straight to his mouth."

He suffered horrific burns to his palate, lips and tongue.

The cord to the floor lamp from which Oscar was shocked.

The cord to the floor lamp from which Oscar was shocked.

"He was screaming, blood was gushing out his mouth, it was then I realised he'd been electrocuted," she said.

Despite being in shock, Mrs Karlson quickly called the ambulance.

"It was so scary," she said.

"Even though Oscar was conscious, I didn't know whether his heart would stop and if he would even survive."

Oscar was rushed to Shoalhaven District Hospital, where concerns the swelling from the burns, particularly to his tongue, would block his airways.

Young Oscar Karlson in Westmead Hospital after suffering the electric shock. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson

Young Oscar Karlson in Westmead Hospital after suffering the electric shock. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson

He was intubated before being flown by helicopter to Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney.

He had suffered burns to the outside of his top lip, inside his bottom lip, on the right side of his tongue, had blisters on the side of his mouth and on his pallet behind his top teeth.

"Thankfully the burns had not traveled down his throat and the injuries were isolated to his mouth," Mrs Karlson said.

Tests revealed there was no damage to his heart, but Oscar still endured in three days in intensive care, before being moved to the burns ward.

He slowly improved, started eating again, and was breastfeeding.

Oscar was discharged but four days later, after he stopped eating and drinking due to pain, he was readmitted to Westmead for another three days.

A month on, Claire said Oscar is making a full recovery.

"He's really good now," she said "and is expected to make full recovery."

Oscar in hospital with his father Hugh. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson

Oscar in hospital with his father Hugh. Photo: Supplied/Claire Karlson

"All the taste buds on his tongue have grown back and hopefully there will be no scarring.

"He's just a normal 14-month-old again, he's eating and doing all the things he used to do."

He's even back doing some child modelling work and brand representation, where he has a growing following on Instagram at @chasing.oscar

"I just couldn't get over how quickly it all happened," Mrs Karlson said.

"I had used the light each night for three to four months. I would leave it on as a night light to get to Oscar's room when he woke.

"There never seemed to be an issue. It never flickered or anything. There was no indication anything was loose.

Claire and Hugh Karlson and their 14-month-old son Oscar.

Claire and Hugh Karlson and their 14-month-old son Oscar.

"There is no way the cord should have been able to be pulled out. An adult shouldn't be able to pull the cord out let alone a child."

Oscar has now shown twice he's a fighter, after being born with aspirated meconium, he was airlifted to Westmead Hospital.

"At the time we were told he might not survive," she said.

"His lungs were full of meconium and he was in respiratory distress. He was on a breathing machine, had fluid around his heart and was quite jaundice.

"He's a fighter that's for sure."