Over the years, our electricians at HedgeHog Electric have seen all the mischief that kids can get up to when they aren’t aware of proper electrical safety. If you have young children at home and haven’t explicitly covered electrical safety, here are 4 tips on what to cover with your kids.
1. NO PLAYING WITH OUTLETS
Electrical outlets can draw children to investigate, often in incredibly unsafe ways, and it doesn’t take much for children to start seeing what they can put in the little holes of the outlet. This move can be especially dangerous if the child is inserting something conductive, like a metal fork or a metal toy.
Be clear with your children that the only thing that is supposed to go into an outlet is a plug. You may want to explain that it can be very painful if they put something else in the outlet and that they can be hurt. Be sure to emphasize that while your children have plenty of toys, the outlets are not one of them.
2. KEEP ALL LIQUID AWAY FROM ELECTRICAL ACTIVITY
Direct contact between your child and electrical cords and outlets isn’t necessary if there is liquid to conduct an electrical shock. To avoid a dangerous situation that either harms your child or damages your electrical system, you should discuss keeping liquids away from electrical activity. This rule can extend to several aspects of your home, such as:
- No liquid around electrical appliances, especially ones that are plugged in.
- Do not touch any electrical cords, outlets, or appliances if they have wet hands or are dripping water.
- Cups of water need to stay on the table and can’t be carried around the house.
When your children are younger, it may help to make a general rule where they need to keep lids on water bottles and other liquid containers secure unless they are drinking.
3. TEACH ELECTRICAL CORD SAFETY
Being forceful with outlets and electrical cords is a dangerous habit to develop, and it’s best that you nip it in the bud. So, when you have older children who are allowed to plug things in, it is essential that you teach them electrical cord safety. Some safety rules to cover can be:
- Never yank a cord out to unplug something. Hold onto the plug as you pull it out.
- Don’t run extension cords across the room since they can be trip hazards as well as electrical hazards.
- If a plug doesn’t fit in an outlet, don’t force it, find the right outlet, or rotate the cord plug.
- Never use a visibly damaged electrical cord, bring it to parents (you).
4. EMPHASIZE RESPECT FOR ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
In modern homes, there are more electrical appliances than ever. From the washer and dryer to your plugged-in tablet, there are many things for children to touch and explore. While this exploration can assist in your child’s development, it is important that they are taught to respect the various appliances in the home.
This respect can be to do things like, avoid putting things that don’t belong in the appliance, like a fork in the toaster or play dough in the washing machine. The earlier your children learn to respect the electrical appliances in the home, the better.
If there is an electrical emergency, whether a circuit simply blew or your child damaged your electrical system, you can count on HedgeHog Electric to take care of you and your home. We provide electrical emergency services and can help you get your electrical system back on track.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO CHILD-PROOF POTENTIAL ELECTRICAL DANGERS
All the talking in the world isn’t going to do much good if your child is too young to understand the dangers of electricity and how to stay safe or they are at an age where a lesson on caution is taken as a challenge. To help protect your children, there are several things you can do to child-proof the electrical system in your home to prevent potential electrical dangers.
- Have child-proof outlets installed – There are specific outlets designed to prevent tampering, and by having these child-proof outlets installed, you can keep curious young children away from the outlet’s electrical current.
- Ensure GFCI outlets are present – As GFCI outlets are designed to interrupt electrical currents, especially if wet, it is critical that you have them in your wet rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. That way, your child can splash in the tub, and you don’t have to worry about shocks or circuits being blown.
- Secure electrical equipment – If you have electrical equipment, from outdoor tools to hairdryers, it is best that you keep these things secure and away from prying young hands.
- Have old and exposed electrical systems replaced – If there are areas of your home that have exposed wiring, or older electrical systems in place such as two-prong outlets, it may be time to replace them to increase the safety of your home.
- Avoid overloading outlets – An overloaded outlet with multiple wires running out of it presents both a fire hazard as well as an almost irresistible temptation for your child to tug on the cords.
If you need assistance with your home’s electrical system, HedgeHog Electric is here for you! You can expect prompt, courteous, and professional work from our electricians, and if that sounds like the right electricians for you, feel free to contact us today.