Open electrical outlets are a leading cause of potential electrical hazards such as electrocution, scalds, burns, etc., and children are much more vulnerable.
Children are inquisitive, leading them to dangerous situations where they touch and handle things they shouldn’t. That’s why most household appliances that utilise electrical cords should be appropriately arranged and kept out of their reach.
Unguarded and open electric outlets are among the most common causes of electrical accidents for children. This is because they are installed low to the ground and are, therefore, accessible to babies and toddlers. In this case, childproofing electrical outlets and following some safety measures can go a long way in protecting your child and creating a safer abode.
In this article, we will walk through the different ways of childproofing your home’s electrical supply. Read on!
Regardless of age, the human body is a good conductor of electricity, and that’s why it passes through our bodies so easily. However, the body responds to this electricity with what is called an ‘electric shock,’ which can be particularly harmful to children. A vulnerable, young body can experience short-term discomfort or potential organ damage due to electrical shocks.
Aside from this, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare cites that direct contact with electrical cords and power outlets is the leading cause of domestic electrical injuries. And children come into contact with these components by chewing on them or inserting metal objects into the power outlet. When exposed to high voltage electrical shock for a prolonged period, your child might suffer from serious health damage, such as:
Thus, you should definitely childproof your electrical outlets and supervise your children to keep them out of harm’s way.
Even though these electrical hazards sound dangerous (which they are), you can easily prevent them by childproofing the electrical outlets and switches at home. While these electrical safety measures can significantly reduce the risks of accidents, you must also keep your children under supervision.
Let’s take a look at the various childproofing methods:
Installing GFCIs to your electrical outlet is one of the most popular ways to prevent electrical accidents, especially if a water source is nearby. So, if you have an electrical outlet in the bathroom or kitchen to run electric appliances, consider adding GFCIs.
GFCI outlets are a protective measure for both children and adults since they have self-closing outlet covers that shut off the outlet when there’s a current leak. This way, they can keep us safe from high-voltage electric shocks, which can be fatal.
If you’re worried about the costs of installing high-end childproofing components, you can consider adding electrical outlet caps. This outlet cover helps prevent your inquisitive child from sticking their fingers into the outlet, thus, reducing the risk of domestic electrocution. Plus, you won’t need to call a licensed electrician for this since they’re fairly easy to install.
However, you must ensure they’re well secured to the outlet since they can be choking hazards if improperly installed.
Using an extension cord when you have children in the house is extremely dangerous. While toddlers can tangle up with the cord while running around, babies can chew on them if left unsupervised. Or, they can playfully put something into the outlet - the possibilities are endless. So, you should avoid using long cords and even adding power strips, especially in the children’s room.
However, if you decide to install a power strip, remember to add a power strip cover as well!
These temporary outlet covers prevent children from playing with the outlets by completely concealing them. They can be easily taken off when the outlet needs to be used. What’s more, you can keep the household items plugged while keeping the sliding covers on - this saves you the ordeal of constantly taking the outlet plugs off.
Installing safety plugs is another common way of childproofing electrical outlets since they fill in the outlet to prevent children from sticking their fingers or other items into it. Plus, children will find it difficult to remove the safety plugs, but they might not even notice it since they blend in with the outlet. However, adults can easily remove them from the electrical receptacles.
Additionally, they have an ergonomic design, so they can be installed easily and are affordable. If you want to baby-proof the outlet further, consider replacing the normal wall switches with safety plugs while you’re at it!
Faceplates are usually beneficial if you have multiple outlets in your home that don’t get used often. In this case, adding a solid faceplate over the existing cover prevents the children from touching the power point. And this way, you need not remove the outlet altogether but temporarily disable it for future use.
When not in use, you should unplug all electrical appliances. You should remember to unplug them, especially before going to sleep, since children wake up earlier than most and might want to play around while you’re asleep. If possible, hide the outlet with a plastic cover to keep the children safe.
Like power strip covers, these cover the electrical outlets to keep them out of your children’s reach. Although they allow you to keep the appliances plugged while in use, they boast a unique box structure, providing better protection against electrocution. So, they effectively deter children from playing with the switchboard or outlet.
The most common way to prevent electrocution among children without installing an electrical component is by simply hiding the power points. Hiding any cables, wires, and outlets can help you make use of a child’s object permanence tendency - if they don’t see the outlet, they aren’t going to remember it or play with it.
You can use any furniture, such as cupboards, side tables, sofas, etc., to hide and childproof outlets.
Besides these methods, you must set up routine electrical maintenance check-ups to look for loose wires or faulty electrical components that can come in contact with children. Also, you must replace any faulty appliance located at your child’s level.
Be it electrical maintenance or childproofing the outlets and switches in your home, you must contact a licensed electrician to get a long-lasting solution.
Precision Electrical & Plumbing provides quick and efficient electrical services in Melbourne and can help you tackle various emergencies. Our highly-trained electricians can help childproof all the electrical outlets in your home and conduct electrical safety checks to ensure your family is safe and secure. So, reach out to us today to see how we can assist you!
Cutting down on electricity consumption is as easy as merely changing some old habits. Read these ten tips and you’re on your way to saving money.Read More
Wanting to install new security system at home? Let us help you decide how many CCTV cameras you need before installing your new system. Read our guide to learn more!Read More
Looking to add a bit of character to your home at night? We have written this comprehensive outdoor lighting guide to help you brighten up your outdoor space!Read More