That’s Quite a Shock: Steps for Keeping Your Children Safe From an Electrical Accident at Home

That’s Quite a Shock: Steps for Keeping Your Children Safe From an Electrical Accident at Home

 By Anita Ginsburg

Being a parent may be hard work, but it’s also rewarding. Watching your little one find their place in the world is wondrous. However, as your child grows and becomes more curious about the world around them, it also becomes more important to make sure they stay safe, even at home.

Since young children want to learn about what’s around them, they may even set out to learn more about things that could be dangerous. And the one thing that piques a young child’s curiosity is electricity. From flashing lights to experimenting with outlets to finding and turning on a power supply, children will find all sorts of ways to observe electricity in the home.

Whether your little one is just starting to crawl or is already an avid explorer, below are a few steps you need to take to prevent your child from being involved in an electrical accident.

Keep Extension Cords Out of Reach

As their name implies, extension cords provide power from a longer distance. However, the longer the extension cord, the easier it is for your child to play with it. Some children, especially toddlers, have a bad habit of putting anything they can grab into their mouths. They are also at risk of potentially getting the cord wrapped around their neck.

If you have extension cords on the floor, invest in an electrical cord housing kit that easily hides the cords. You can also tape them up along the baseboards. If it’s strong tape, your kids will get bored trying to peel it away before they actually succeed.

Invest in a Circuit Breaker

A great way to keep your child from being injured in an electrical accident is by making sure that your plugs aren’t getting overwhelmed. Overwhelmed sockets and outlets can spark, which can hurt your child if they’re too close or can cause fires. To prevent this, double-check your circuit breaker. Circuit breakers are designed to shut off when they reach a specific electrical load.

They are located in the breaker box, which is usually in one of the lower traffic areas of the home. If you’re having trouble finding yours, check the garage, basement, and closets. They vary in electrical-load capacity and trip when overloaded. If you live in an older home, you should enlist the help of an experienced electrician to make sure your circuit breakers are in good working order.

Cover Up All Your Outlets

Sometimes you can get the best protection from the simplest of methods. The electrical outlet coverings fit this description perfectly. By covering up the outlets, children aren’t able to stick their fingers, tongues, or even a tiny object into the socket. You can find and purchase outlet covers from almost any hardware store or local dollar store.

Teach Your Children

If your child is old enough to understand, explain to them how dangerous electricity can be. Make sure they understand that electrical outlets are not toys and should never be played with. When they understand the danger, they’ll be less likely to hurt themselves.

Teaching your children about the purpose and dangers of electricity is perhaps the best way you can prevent an accident. By doing so, you’re also teaching them to be more careful and to always ask questions about when it comes to their safety.


Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
*Photos courtesy of Anita Ginsburg

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