The home is supposed to be just a place for comfort, safety, and fun. It should not bring about some worries when we are raising children. Most parents constantly have thoughts about their child’s safety every day. We need to at least save our sanity by crashing out harmful dangers one by one. And a great danger that we want to crash out is electrical dangers, especially those in our homes.
It is estimated that at least 4-5 children below six years old are admitted every day due to an incident with an electrical receptacle. This tells us that we can never really tell what goes on in playful little minds. But, electrical accidents can be prevented as long as parents take these extra measures.
See from the child’s point of view. You are your child’s first line of defense in electrical safety monitoring. The topmost effective way of reducing any harmful danger is to look at the risks from your child’s perspective. For example, your toddler is going to be crawling under the bed or the dining table. Hence, you should get on all fours and do your version of an electrical safety inspection. Exposed power strips or unused outlets are only visible if you look underneath.
Educate your child about electrical safety. You can start teaching your child educational lessons as soon as they can crawl. While you can’t expect your toddler to understand a complicated explanation for why it is dangerous to stick his finger in an electrical outlet, you can begin the educational process by firmly telling him “NO” whenever you perceive a potential danger. After that, give your toddler a nice reward for doing the right thing.
Electrical safety education goes a long way. You can take your child around your home and explain how power passes throughout your home by wires. You can also demonstrate how plugs function and talk about how the power company has worked to make your lines safe. If these sound too much of a task, you can just let your child watch videos about electrical safety outside the home. Most of these videos contain the following reminders:
• Fly kites away from power lines. If the kite touches the energized power line, electricity finds the quickest way to the ground, thus, electrocuting the child.
• Don’t fly drones near power lines. Flying toys that hit a power line can either cause a power outage or a hazardous downed power line.
• Don’t climb trees near power lines. Branches touching the wires can energize the tree.
• Don’t play on transformers. While underground pad mount transformers are marked with a safety warning, children are still reminded to not play around these boxes.
• Electricity and water is a deadly combination. Keep all electrical stuff away from water. Similarly, don’t plug electronics that have been damaged by water.
Secure and maintain all electrical appliances. Frayed or worn out cords on kitchen appliances and lamps can cause electrical injuries. Whenever you see an electrical cord that shows signs of wear and tear, dispose of it right away. It is also worth noting to keep all cords out of areas where someone can trip. Remember to not pinch them in doorways or run them under rugs.
Childproof empty outlets, occupied outlets/power cords, and power strips/bars
• For outlets that have nothing plugged into them, use electrical outlet caps. The front is made of non-grippy plastic so that your little one won’t be able to pull them out. Another option is to use sliding plate covers. The spring-loaded piece of plastic in these covers will slide over the outer slots and will automatically snap back after taking the plug out. While electrical outlet caps achieve the same effect as the sliding plate covers, many users prefer the sliding plate covers since it is more secure and safe.
• Essentially, you want to stop your child from plugging things in and out. To refrain him from being able to unplug anything, use outlet covers. A more inexpensive way to childproof occupied outlets/power cords is to block off access to the outlet with furniture.
• Power strips or bars are a huge hazard for little kids, especially for a crawling toddler. This is because anything that sits on the floor and has a bunch of wires sticking out becomes the most inviting thing to play with. To childproof power strips/bars, use power strip covers. These plastic shields go over the top of the power strip and let the cords stick through.
In a modern world that relies heavily on the use of electricity, nothing beats your watchful eyes around electrical hazards. While you can childproof everything electrical, troubleshooting may happen at some point. As this is way beyond your capabilities, contact your electrician home service nearby.