Listen to an iPod during a storm and you may get more than electrifying tunes.
A Canadian jogger suffered wishbone-shaped chest and neck burns, ruptured eardrums and a broken jaw when lightning travelled through his music player's wires
Last summer, a Colorado teenager ended up with similar injuries when lightning struck nearby as he was listening to his iPod while mowing the lawn.
Doctors report treating other patients with burns from freak accidents while using personal electronic devices such as beepers, Walkman players and laptop computers outdoors during storms.
Michael Utley, a former stockbroker from West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, who survived being struck by lightning while golfing, has tracked 13 cases since 2004 of people hit while talking on mobile phones. They are described on his lightning safety website, http://www.struckbylightning.org
Contrary to some urban legends and media reports, electronic devices do not attract lightning the way a tall tree or a lightning rod does.
"It's going to hit where it's going to hit, but once it contacts metal, the metal conducts the electricity," said Dr Mary Ann Cooper of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an ER doctor at University of Illinois Medical Centre at Chicago.
When lightning jumps from a nearby object to a person, it often flashes over the skin. But metal in electronic devices - or metal jewellery or coins in a pocket - can cause contact burns and exacerbate the damage.
A spokeswoman for Apple, the maker of iPods, declined to comment. Packaging for iPods and some other music players does include warnings against using them in the rain.
Lightning strikes can occur even if a storm is many miles away, so lightning safety experts have been pushing the slogan 'When thunder roars, go indoors,' said Dr Cooper.