Right from when your kids are brought home, you’ll want to child-proof everything. As your toddlers grow up, they are more likely to become curious and inspect modern technology themselves, without knowing the dangers.
Accidental injury is one of the leading and most avoidable causes of premature death. Prevent such injuries by properly child-proofing your home, starting with sharp objects and electrical outlets. Encourage your child to follow safety tips, and pay heed to them yourself. Here is a short guide to protecting your kids from electric hazards.
1. Childproof/Teach About Electric Cords and Sockets
As far as possible, make sure that open plugs and other outlet powering equipment lie behind furniture. Otherwise, consider outlet covers that enclose the plug point. Remember that plastic cling-wrap covering and tape are next to useless, as most toddlers can easily get rid of them.
Consider the ip66 enclosure, which works safely both in indoor and outdoor settings. Crawling children will not be able to access any live wires or exposed circuits.
Teach your child to stay away from sockets and electric equipment. As they age, they will begin to understand when you explain why. Tell them about the reality of electrical shocks and never insert anything into sockets without an adult’s permission.
Children learn most by the behavior modeled by parents or guardians. Never keep water near electric points or flip switches with wet hands. You can also watch electric safety videos on the internet together. Consider using an LED power supply, as it is usually water safe.
By this age, most children can understand how to use a phone. Teach them to call emergency services if they see anyone injured in an electric fire or short-circuit. Never put out electric fires with water; use chemical fire extinguishers instead.
Older kids and pre-teens are old enough to understand the dangers of meddlings with electric equipment. Teach them not to overload any plug points, which can cause power surges and short-circuits.
2. Unplug All Electric Appliances Every Night
You never know when the little ones are up and about while you’re still in bed. Turn off and unplug all the electronic appliances your toddler is likely to encounter if he or she decides to play around in the dark.
It’s best to avoid extension cords around toddlers. In the dark, you’re likely to trip over them. If there are any unnecessarily long chords in your house, it’s time for them to go. Shorten and get rid of electric chords that don’t serve an immediate or important purpose.
3. Install Nightlights
Use nightlights in your kids’ rooms and around the house to provide some illumination in the dark. You can install these by the bed and bathroom to keep them stumbling on the way to the loo.
Nightlights are available in many different styles and structures. It would be best to choose lights that fully fit over and cover the entire power outlet so your child can’t meddle with socket openings.
The decor should always be done keeping in mind your kids.
4. Inspect Your Electric Power Outlets and Appliances
Routine checks will not only help you beware of flimsy and precarious electric outlets but also cost-saving in the long run. Ideally, you might have a licensed electrician check the wiring in your home.
Any loose or frayed wires are potentially harmful and may cause electric shocks, especially if they are in a frequently accessed part of the house.
If an appliance feels tingly or unusually hot to the touch, get them professionally inspected and repaired as soon as possible. A trusted electrician will be able to diagnose and fix the problem in the initial stages itself.
5. Consider GFCIs
GFCIs (full form: Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are devices that automatically turn off the electricity supply when they detect current leaking from the circuit to the ground. Although these are the common standard these days, some homes do not have GFIs (full form: Ground Fault Interrupters).
GFCIs and GFIs serve essentially the same function: to detect and cut protect you and your appliances when a ground fault occurs. Also, make sure your earth/ground wire is without problems.
6. Consider Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR)
TRRs are carefully designed hollow electrical containers or receptacles that prevent electricity from flowing to anything other than the electrical plugs being plugged into the socket.
Outlets covers, while protective and more effective than plastic or tape covering, can also be misplaced or removed with sufficient persistence. Because the TRR is fixed into place, they ensure continuous passive protection to your child.
The best part about TRR is that the upgrade is relatively cheaper. These upgrades can cost anywhere between 50 cents to $2 per circuit. Most homes built from 2008 onwards have TRRs pre-installed. You might want to seriously switch to these if your home is older because they serve the safety purpose even after your kids have grown up.
7. Avoid Overloading A Plug Point
Limit or altogether avoid the use of extension cords unless necessary for daily activities. Put away loose wires and charging ports when you are not using them.
If you need the extension cord, try to see if the wires can be put away being furniture or under carpets. Routinely inspect your extension cord to check for signs of damage or defect. Otherwise, make sure your toddler cannot easily access the area around the plug point.
Multi-plug adapters are never a good idea, but if you are out of options, make sure that they are equipped with circuit breakers or fuses to be safe.
Your kids will only follow as many safety tips as you do. Let your actions lead you, and you will successfully inculcate a sense of responsibility and diligence in your habits. Regular maintenance will not only give you the pleasure of a safe and trouble-free electricity supply but also keep your loved ones from avoidable accidents.
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