The medical records of all children with household electrical injuries were reviewed. The children were seen from 1980 to 1986 at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Injuries occurred predominantly in children younger than age 6 years, most commonly while meals were being prepared. The most frequent cause of injury was oral contact with electrical cords or cord sockets, or contact with wall sockets either directly or via conductive foreign objects such as keys or pins. Data reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission were also analyzed and corroborated our findings. We suggest a series of prevention strategies based on these data. A new wall outlet cover design is described.