Improving the electrical safety for kids requires doing a few simple and inexpensive things and educating the children about the accidents that may transpire if they do not follow the precautions.
First, ensure that the wiring and equipment in the homes and public places are compliant with the relevant electrical codes and regulations. However, even with all these things in place, we need to take extra precautions when there are children.
Touching live conductors or parts of equipment often lead to electric shocks, burns, serious injuries or even death. However, children may expose themselves to more risks by unknowingly touching live conductors, inserting objects in electrical outlets or playing with dangerous electrical equipment and cables.
Ensuring electrical safety for kids requires creating awareness on how to avoid exposing themselves to both indoor and outdoor risks.
Simple ways of enhancing the electrical safety for kids
The most effective solutions of improving the electrical safety for kids include childproofing the electrical outlets as well as keeping extension cords, appliances, and tools out of the way. In addition, it is critical to educate the children about the dangers associated with electricity, what not to do, and how to respond whenever there is a problem.
Educating the children
This depends on the age of the child; some of the things you can instruct them includes
- Never to put objects, toys and their fingers in the electrical outlets.
- Avoid contact with live electrical equipment, wires, and tools.
- How to respond whenever there are problems such as downed lines, floods, blackouts etc.
- Avoid touching or operating electrical equipment and toys when wet or when standing in water
- Avoid throwing objects at power lines and substations
- Never to overload the electrical outlets on the walls or extension cords by putting all their gadgets at one point.
Childproofing electrical outlets
Child proofing the electrical outlets prevents the curious children from inserting objects such as paper clips, staples, knives, keys and other conductive parts into the sockets. One way of increasing the electrical safety for kids in this area is by using tamper proof outlets. These have a spring loaded cover that requires equal pressure on the two holes in order to open up. The pressure must be applied simultaneously otherwise the cover does not move.
Other options for sealing the outlets to increase the electrical safety for kids include the plastic plugs, sliding covers, taping and others. However, that the plastic plugs may present choking hazard to the kids.
Increasing electrical safety for kids with proper cord management
Faulty electrical cords present hazards to both the adults and children, but may be more dangerous to children since they may not be aware of the dangers. Ensure that the cords have effective insulation, and when possible, keep them short and out of the way for the children so that they may not be tempted to start playing with them.
Extension cords present risks such as electric shocks and accidents from tripping over. There are also risks such as falling objects if children pull the cord, as well as electric shocks if they insert objects inside the open ends. Some of the ways to childproof the cords and improve the electrical safety for kids include;
- Keeping them out of the way, securing them tightly to the wall or floor, as well as using outlet covers and tamper proofing the wall and extension cord outlets.
- Using shorter cords, or hiding unused part
- Hide electrical outlets and extension cords using furniture or other safe items that the child cannot move around.
Keep electrical appliances and tools out of reach
The children can harm themselves or cause other problems such as fires when trying to operate the electrical equipment. If possible, place barriers to prevent kids from accessing the devices or wires. In addition, do not leave appliances such as toasters, electrical tools, hair dryers plugged into power outlets that the children can access and turn on.
Outdoor electrical safety for kids is critical, especially where there are overhead power lines and trees. The kids should only fly their kites in the open and clear areas away from overhead power lines, electric fences, and substations.
In addition, it is advisable to always use kites with dry strings and avoid using those with the wire or wire-reinforced strings near any of the electrical lines. While flying kites is not dangerous in open areas, it can be fatal if the wet or metallic string touches the live electrical cables, this would pass current through the child’s body and cause serious problems.
Other problems arise when kites get stuck between the wires or trees near the power lines. They should not try to pull their objects so as to avoid causing short circuits.
Likewise, kids should never climb trees near the power lines or electrical facilities such as substations in an attempt to retrieve balls, kites, and other items held up there.
There are several, inexpensive ways of reducing risks associated with electricity. It is critical to have proper wiring and electrical equipment in good working condition and observe the standard codes and regulations as well as educate the children about all the dangers.
The best solution for improving the electrical safety for kids is preventing them from accessing parts or touching live parts or conductors that present risks of electric shock or lead to accidents.