The day you become a parent should also be the day you child-proof your entire home, although proper planning demands that you make the necessary changes before the “D” day. That’s because the responsibility of childcare is so enormous and demanding. You may never get the chance to think about child-proofing your house once the daily and nightly duties of early parenthood kick in.
Before you can blink, your child will begin crawling on all fours and exploring the immediate surroundings. Since May happens to be Electrical Safety Month, it’s necessary to consider the steps you should take to protect your children from electrical hazards, whether indoors or outdoors.
Note that accidental injuries are among the leading causes of fatality among toddlers and babies, accounting for more loss of life than health complications. So to help you protect your little ones from electric outlets and other exposed terminals, here are some tips you can follow.
Cover Power Strips
Firstly, you want to safeguard regular residential electrical plugs like the Nema 5-15r and power strips. These are helpful devices that come in handy for plugging multiple appliances, but you need to keep them out of reach and sight of your children, especially if you have toddlers or crawling babies. Power strips usually lie on the ground, and your young ones will see them as toys. You will need a power strip cover to keep it away from your children. The cover hides the strip plugs with an opening for the cord.
Pass on Extension Cords
If you can, avoid extension cords and power strips altogether, especially in the children’s rooms. It’s the nature of kids to chew on most items they see in the home. The last thing you want is to have your children biting into the cord of a power strip or extension cord. Therefore, to prevent any such incidents, you should avoid using them as much as possible. In place of extension cords, you can plug appliances directly into wall outlets.
Unplug Appliances When Not in Use
You should make it a daily routine to switch off and unplug all appliances not in use, especially before going to bed. Toddlers tend to wake up in the middle of the night. If this happens and your toddler decides to explore the room and play, there will be no live wires or appliances that could pose any danger. Also, remember to keep electrical outlets and wires out of their reach because they do not make good toys for children at any age.
GFCIs stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These are vital for rooms that have water sources such as bathrooms and kitchens. You can consult any electrician about buying high-quality GFCI and installing them in such rooms. These devices protect everyone from hazardous electric shocks, particularly your children.
They work by automatically terminating current flow when they detect a leak from the circuit to the ground. Therefore, you and your loved ones won’t get electrical shocks when there are any defects in your home’s circuitry.
Shorten Long Cords
It’s common in most homes that a lamp resting a foot away from its outlet has more than a 10-foot long power cord. Even if the excess cord doesn’t cause any direct electrical hazard, it can loop around the foot of your children, trip them, or cause the electrical device to fall on them. Whatever may be the case, it could result in injury. Therefore, you’re better off buying appliances with shorter cords. Not only will it look better than a coiled cable, but it’s also safer.
Install Electrical Outlet Caps
One of the best options to help you prevent your children from sticking objects or fingers into plugs is to purchase a packet of electrical outlet caps. Electrical outlet caps are plastics that you plug directly into your electrical outlets.
The external part of the cap is entirely flat. Hence, children can’t take hold of it easily. Once your children can’t insert anything into outlets, they’ll leave them alone and play with something else in the house.
Educate Your Children
If you have pre-teens or older children, you can easily explain the dangers of electricity to their understanding. However, you don’t expect it to be a one-day lecture. You have to take your time and slowly explain why playing with electrical wires and devices is dangerous.
Let them know why it’s risky to overload outlets with power strips and extension cords. They should learn to take responsibility for the safety of themselves and their younger siblings, making sure that they follow safety measures even outside the home.
If you have kids in your house, you need to carry out regular maintenance and properly repair any faults in the electrical system as soon as they occur. This will keep your entire family protected, ensure your electrical appliances have a long lifespan and reduce the yearly child accident stats. Hence, possibly preventing electrical hazards and costs associated with property damage.
Remember that you may need to speak to reputable electricians and enlist their services for more complex electrical setups. It’s the best way to ensure the correct installation of electrical safety devices in your home.