July 12, 2007
Listening to iPod during Storms? Beware Lightning may strike!
If you thought that you only needed to switch off only the computer or TV during lightning storms, then you need to think again. According to the experts lightning can strike those who use personal devices like MP3 players, laptops, beepers or even metal jewelry or have coins in a pocket. Bizarre as it may seem, you need to take precautions so that you don’t become another statistic. Take the case of the Canadian jogger who suffered wishbone-shaped chest and neck burns, ruptured eardrums and a broken jaw when lightning traveled through his music player’s wires. If that doesn’t convince you, then maybe the story of Michael Utley West Yarmouth, Mass. will. He was struck by lightning while golfing and has tracked 13 cases since 2004 of people hit while talking on cell phones. They are described on his Web site, www.struckbylightning.org.
“It’s going to hit where it’s going to hit, but once it contacts metal, the metal conducts the electricity,” says Dr. Mary Ann Cooper of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an ER doctor at University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago. “Lightning jumps from a nearby object to a person and it often flashes over the skin. Metal in electronic devices can cause contact burns and aggravate the damage.” So be safe and act responsibly when you hear the thunders and see the lightning!
Head over to ABC News for the full report