As any parent knows, children of any age are naturally curious, with a normal eagerness to explore. This curiosity, however, can become a danger when it comes to electricity.
With so many day to day electrical safety hazards that are often overlooked by parents, we’ve come up with our 7 top tips for keeping your children safe from electricity in the home. Along with some of the dangers of electricity you can explain to children who are old enough to understand:
Our 7 Top Tips For Keeping Children Safe From Electricity At Home
- Keep cords for appliances out of reach! Babies and toddlers love grabbing things, make sure all your appliances are well out of reach and when they’re not in use, unplug them and move the cable out of reach.
- After a bath or shower, make sure your children are dried properly before they use any electrical appliance like a games console or TV.
- Keep drinks away from anything electrical when not supervised.
- Don’t overload extension cables! Not only does this pose a risk to your children but also to anybody in the home – overloaded extension cables can overheat and cause fires.
Never plug an extension cord into another one, this is known as ‘daisy chaining’ and increases the risk of overheating substantially!
- Check electrical leads for damage, kids love chewing things and electrical cables are no exception. Once the interior wiring becomes exposed they can cause electric shocks, regularly inspect the cables in your home and replace any that show signs of damage
- Make some rooms out of bounds, for example, the garage where the fuse box is located, or the garden shed where larger electrical appliances like power tools might be kept.
- Know what to do in an emergency and ensure you are prepared. Having an electrical fire extinguisher (Dry powder or CO2), first aid kit and emergency contact list is a good idea should an accident occur. Have an action plan.
Explaining The Dangers Of Electricity To Children
If your child is of an older age and you feel they are competent enough to understand the dangers of electricity, run through the following rules with them:
- Never stick your finger in any electric socket or appliance – even if they are switched off
- Never use an electrical device near the sink or other source of water
- Keep wires and appliances away from sources of heat such as radiators
- Never touch any electrical device or appliance if your hands are wet
- Never pull a plug out of its socket by pulling on the cord
- If you’re not using the TV or other device anymore, turn it off at the plug – (this is also a great way to get your children involved with saving electricity in the home)
- Electrical safety goes beyond the home, never climb walls or trees that are close to power lines or stations
- If you see a broken or frayed electrical wire, tell an adult
Should I Use Socket Covers?
Socket covers or blockers used to be a recommended safety feature in a house with children but have since been branded ineffective. Many professionals agree that sockets are safe enough already thanks to their safety shutters and some argue that socket covers can actually be more dangerous, due to their production being unregulated making for bad designs that are potentially dangerous.
If you’re still concerned about your child poking things into sockets, use the furniture in the room to obstruct them from being reached.
What To Do In The Event Of An Electric Shock
Fortunately in the UK, cases of children being electrocuted in the home are rare. If your child or anybody in your home does receive an electric shock you should carry out the following:
- Turn the power off the appliance before touching the person – this could result in you getting electrocuted too.
- If you can’t reach turn the power off for any reason, push the person away from the source of electricity with a non-conductive implement or item such as plastic or wood.
- If they are conscious ring an ambulance or take them to a minor injuries unit depending on the severity of the shock, do not use oils or ointments to cool their burns.
- If they are unconscious, check for a pulse, call an ambulance and carry out CPR if required
Stay Safe At Home With Allied Electrical
Outdated electrics can be a danger to anyone in the home who isn’t aware of the hazards, take a look at our domestic electrical page to find out some of the most common electrical problems we find in homes.
Our electricians have been helping homeowners with electrical problems for 25 years and as NICIEC approved contractors, all our work complies with British Standards for your peace of mind. If you’re experiencing problems with your electrics at home – give us a call on 0117 303 9000 or fill out a contact form below
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