While electricity is not always at the forefront of your mind, it can be hazardous if handled incorrectly. I’m sure you know not to stick a fork or finger into your electrical outlets or blow dry your hair while sitting in the bathtub. However, as obvious as this may seem, you were not born with this knowledge. Therefore, it’s important to safety proof your home and teach your kids proper electrical safety.
So, you may be wondering how to teach your kids proper electrical safety. Here are some tips to help keep your kids safe from electrical accidents:
Child Proof Your Home
First things first, you should consider safety proofing your home to minimize hazards. Here are a few ways you can child-proof your home electrical system:
- Secure or cover unused wall outlets. You can place plastic covers to shield unused power outlets to prevent your child from sticking their fingers, tongue, or objects into the sockets. However, be aware that these can be pulled out and become a choking hazard so keep a close eye on them. You can also cover the outlets with electrical tape or block them with furniture.
- Cover cords. Cords can be pulled from the wall and cause electrical shock if damaged. Furthermore, they can become a choking hazard if they get wrapped around your child’s neck. Try to hide cords, especially extension cords, behind furniture, under secured rugs, or by using a hide-a-cord device.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Place electrical devices high up and out of reach. Items such as Wi-Fi routers, DVD players, game consoles, etc. should be placed on a high shelf or behind a child-proof barrier. Safely store your bathroom and kitchen appliances, such as hairdryers, curling irons, and toasters in an out-of-reach place.
Teach Your Kids Electrical Safety
1. Avoid Electrical Sockets and Cords
While childproofing is a great additional safety measure, it’s still important to teach your young ones to stay away from electrical outlets and cords. Once your child begins to crawl, everything becomes interesting to them. Turns out it’s not only electricians who are fascinated by electrical sockets, but babies are too. So, when you notice your child moving towards an electrical socket or cord, firmly tell them, “No!” and redirect their interest to a safe alternative.
2. Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Terrible accidents can occur when electrical devices meet water. Explain to your kids how water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Show your kids the areas of high risk such as sinks, bathtubs, and toilets, and explain that if a device plugs into the wall or has a battery, it can cause an electrical shock if mixed with water. To further your child’s understanding, tell them if the device makes noise, moves, or lights up, keep it away from water.
Make sure they know to alert an adult if they come across an electrical device in water and to never retrieve it themselves.
Household devices to be aware of:
- Curling irons
- Power tools
- Smart devices (phones, watches, etc)
3. Watch Electrical Safety Videos Together
This day in age, there are a massive number of resources available to teach your kids about safety practices. To teach your kids the dangers of electrical sockets, technology may just be your best friend in this case. YouTube has a lot of helpful videos to not only teach children about electrical hazards, but about how electricity works. So, not only can you protect your children, but you can both receive a mini science lesson as well.
Sit down with your child to watch the video together to make sure they’re engaged with the content. As you know, kids love to ask questions and never seem to have a shortage of “why’s” and “how’s” in their vocabulary. Follow up the video with a discussion about what you just watched to further their interest and level of understanding. Here are a few videos to check out:
General Safety Tips
BC Hydro has a list of helpful tips to help keep your kids safe from electrical shock. To practice home electrical safety, teach your kids the following:
- Fingers, tongues, and objects should not be put into an outlet
- Metals (forks, spoons, knives, etc.) should not be put in the toaster or microwave
- Never pull a plug by the cord
- If it has a cord or battery, keep it away from water
Outdoor electrical safety is just as important. To ensure that your child has a clear understanding of the external electrical risks, remind them of the following:
- Steer clear of substations and power lines
- Power poles are not for climbing
- Don’t fly a kite near a power line
- Stay away from broken or damaged power lines
- Avoid trees that are near power lines
- Don’t climb or play around transformers
- Obey warning signs
- If there’s thunder or lightening, go indoors
Educate your children as best you can on safe electrical practices and the dangers of improper handling of electrical devices and outlets. Furthermore, ensure that your home is up to date on its electrical safety standards by reaching out to our electrical contractors. If you’re in need of electrical services, our team at BPM Electric will be more than happy to assist. Reach out today for a quote!