Electrical devices form a key part of our daily lives. They are available in virtually every room in our homes. Ranging from extension cords, power outlets, and phone chargers to computer cables, the list of such electrical appliances is endless. The presence of these electrical appliances implies our children are always in constant danger of electric shock. Sadly, most of these appliances were not designed with the safety of our babies in mind. We are, therefore, left with the option of devising ways of protecting our beloved children from possible electric shock. The following are 8 tried and tested and hence effective Tips on Protecting Your Child from Electric shock.
8 Tips on Protecting Your Child From Electric shock
1. Minimize your Use Of Extension cables
While extension cords are useful for home owners who use several electronic appliances concurrently, they unfortunately pose a danger to toddlers and babies. Apart from being bulky and hence can tangle you baby to trip, your children may be tempted to pull them violently from the wall. If you must use several extension cords, make sure they are safely tucked behind furniture, this way, they will not attract your children’s attention. Additionally, avoid plugging an extension cord right into another extension cord. Chances of such extension cords overheating are very high. Instead, make arrangements for more electrical outlets to be installed in your home.
2. Install GFCIs
GDCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. These interrupters protect children from electrocution or electric shock by shutting off electric power at the socket when they sense current leaking from live electrical circuits to the ground. They, therefore, protect both children possible electric shock arising from children sticking electrical conductors to live sockets. Also, make sure your children understand that electricity and water do not mix. Train them, from young age to avoid using electrical appliances near any water source such as bath or sink.
3. Use Tamper Resistant Receptacles
These receptacles have Live and Neutral slots filled in with spring loaded shutters which shut off the openings so your children cannot insert fingers or other objects. The shutters are designed to only open when both openings are pushed simultaneously (that is when you are intentionally lugging another lead into the outlet). Note that your baby won’t press both openings at the same time. As such, anytime they try inserting foreign object, the receptacles do not open, effectively protecting your child from electric shock. To know if sockets in your home are temper prove look for the letters TR etched between its two vertical slots. If these vital appliances are absent, have them replaced to avert possible electric shock to your children.
4. Install Nightlights
Nightlights offer a reassuring guide to your children in the dark. They are, therefore, ideal for the bathroom, nursery or even the bedroom and should be installed by all parents with small children. They come in different kid-friendly types some featuring dinosaurs, teddy bears, angels among many more other figures. Some models even provide a handy automatic on/off addition that conveniently turns on when night falls and off at dawn. With these nightlights you will always be sure that your children will find their way to, say, wash rooms at night without staggering into hazardous electrical appliances and outlets.
5. Fix damaged Electrical Cords
Fix all loose cords and split wires as soon as possible. Since such damaged cords are not common, they entice your children to play with. Young children tend to be curious about uncommon items. They, hence, will be attracted to them and before you know, they are paying with them. So, take time to check your electric cords from time to time to identify naked section lest your children start to investigate and land in serious troubles. Even if you notice any slight sign of wear, make an effort to replace them right away. Additionally, be sure to always keep an eye on electrical cords on your old electrics. This is because such devices tend to wear gradually thereby posing electric shock to your children.
6. Use switch Locks
These are locks that control the use of switches by preventing turning on electronic appliances unless some dedicated keys are inserted. They beautifully fit over standard wall switches and hence can be used with any type of switch in a typical home. With their inbuilt convenient locking snaps, these switch locks effectively prevent children from switching on appliances when you are busy with household chores. They are particularly useful for busy mothers who may not be able to keep an eye on their children. Since some appliances such as heaters pose greater electric shock potential when turned on, such appliances need to be fitted with switch locks to limit their use to those times when parents can keep an eye on the children.
7. Be on the lookout for any warning sign
While as a parent you have a lot to monitor, if in your family there are young one running around, find time to check if some outlets are giving off a burning scent, flash sparks or making buzzing sounds. These are signs that the sockets are either overloaded or damaged. Unless you are expert in electronic devices and cables,-in which case you should fix them as soon as possible-you need to contact a qualified and licensed electrician immediately you notice anything something unusual. This will go a long way in protecting your children from electric shock and other more serious dangers.
8. Unplug appliances when cleaning and when you are away
When electronic appliances are turned off yet remain plugged to power outlets, electric connection is still available. So, always unplug appliances when you are not using them. Let your children know that electric current continues to flow through appliances despite the fact they are switched on or not. Since water and electricity should never meet, also teach your children to always first unplug electrical appliances before cleaning them. Areas where such a danger of cleaning an appliance while still connected to power is present include the kitchen and the bathroom. Be more careful when cleaning appliances in these areas.
Electrical safety is vital for all families and more so for a family with a small child. Take initiatives to avert electric shocks to keep your family safe. Follow the above effective tips and follow the instructions that come with each and every electrical appliance to maintain electrical safety in your home at all times.