Electricity is definitely something that demands respect! …and since we are all aware of the potential dangers that can occur from its misuse, it is very important to begin teaching this respect of electricity to the very youngest members of our family as well.
If there’s one thing parents know about children, it’s that they are curious; and while curiosity is a necessary motivation for learning, it must be guided and supervised for the sake of their wellbeing.
What are Some Primary Steps You Can Take?
There are a few basic measures that every parent can take to make their home a safer place, and to help get their young children off to a good start in electrical safety.
- Look at Your Home from Your Child’s Point of View. Infants and toddlers love to play with cords (often in their mouths), and they also enjoy sticking their fingers and other objects into little holes like electrical outlets. It’s probably a good idea to get down on their level and look around to see what they are likely to find.
- Secure and Maintain all Electrical Appliances. Regularly check the cords on the appliances and power tools in your home to make sure they are not damaged or frayed; and make sure the appliances themselves are in proper operating order. If using extension cords, always be aware of where your child is, and that the cord is not being played with.
- Childproof Wall Outlets with Outlet Covers. These handy little items are a great way to increase the safety of your home! The covers often fit tightly into the outlet so that little fingers cannot easily pull them out. Place covers on any unused outlet within the reach of your curious child.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. You can have special outlets installed called ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) that will cut off the power flow if a surge is detected due to spilled water, a damaged appliance, etc. These are a great way to prevent dangerous situations for you whole household.
Begin the Educational Process Early
Once infants are mobile (scooting, rolling, crawling), it’s time to begin teaching them what is and isn’t allowed to be touched. When they learn to understand and respond to the words no, or don’t touch, your child is well on their way to respecting the danger of electricity. As they grow older, they can begin to learn more of the ins and outs of electric power.
Spend Time Learning Together
Children love to have a parent/parents alongside them as they learn; to encourage them and to be excited with them as they discover new things. Set aside some time to sit down with your child and learn about electricity together. This can be done through watching educational YouTube videos for kids, reading books, and even doing fun science projects that demonstrate how electricity works. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) even offers a Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety Program that is geared specifically for children.
Your child will understand potential dangers much better as they learn about electricity, helping them to make wiser and safer choices as they live life from day to day.
Set Some Rules
Although kids sometimes moan at the thought of more rules, it’s important to establish basic guidelines when it comes to their safety in the home and as they play outside. These are a few examples of rules you can pin up for your children to follow in regard to electricity:
- Don’t put objects (including fingers) into outlets.
- Keep electronics away from water.
- Ask for help when using unfamiliar electric appliances.
- Don’t overload power strips.
- Don’t play around outdoor transformer boxes
- Don’t throw ropes, fly kites, or climb trees near power lines.
We’re Here to Help
In addition to the essential duty of teaching your kids about electrical safety, it’s also important to make sure your home’s electrical system is up-to-date and functioning properly. Modern households demand a much larger amount of power than older homes were originally built for.
Our experienced and friendly team can help you update your home and replace any damaged wiring or outlets, as well as giving you advice about other safety issues. Our electricians are also on call 24/7 for any electrical emergencies that may arise. Please contact us today with any of your electrical needs!