After having my first baby, I really wondered if it was actually necessary to do all of the baby proofing things. Sure, I thought, lock the drawer with the knives and put a gate at the top of the stairs. But, why would my child be interested in boring white electrical outlets when theree plenty of other bright flashing toys around? And, if he did happen to spot an outlet, what are the chances that he would think to stick something in it?
Can you guess what happened?
One of the first places my son zoomed off to, once he began crawling, were those boring white electrical outlets. And on top of that, his first instinct was to try and stick a toy into it. Thankfully, I had covered the outlets with plastic safety covers, so he was safe, but I still couldn’t believe how quickly it had happened.
While electricity offers us many, many conveniences, it is still something in our homes that can be incredibly dangerous–especially with young children. Safety is key, so here are our best tips.
From a young age kids can be taught about the dangers of electricity, and how to make safe choices around it. Starting with crawling babies, they can be told no when they come near an electrical outlet. Parenting First Cry.com recommends using books and activity sheets as well as cutting open a cord (not in use) to show kids the wires inside and explain how electricity works.
If you learned anything from the anecdote at the beginning of this blog post, it is that when it comes to kids–you should expect and prepare for everything. Assume that your child will be interested in putting his or her toys in the electrical outlets and that he or she will want to use the TV wires as a new teether. Place outlet covers over all unused outlets and do your best to keep all cords tucked up and away from curious hands (and mouths!) Furthermore, do not leave children unattended with plugged-in appliances such as toasters and never play with electronic toys near water.
Once you make it past the baby and toddler stages, you may feel that you can breathe again. However, do not let your guard down too much. When kids are older, you will want to keep vigilant with outdoor activities. For example, kids should not climb trees that are close to power lines and should never go swimming during a thunder storm. Lastly, be sure to instruct your children that if they ever see a downed power line to stay far away from it and tell an adult.
In addition to teaching your children about electrical safety and minimizing any potential threats in your home, it is also important to make sure that your home’s wiring is safe and up to code. If you have an older home, talk with an electrician about any old non-grounded outlets and old, potentially un-safe wiring throughout your home.