Did you know that about 2,400 children go to the ER every year because they stuck things like paper clips, hairpins, knives, nails, and other objects into electrical sockets? That’s an alarming statistic, and one that could easily be reduced, if only more of us were proactive in teaching our children.
You don’t have to have structured lessons to impart a healthy respect for electricity. Make sure your own attitude is one that encourages it. Let your children know that electricity is useful and helpful, but can be dangerous if not respected.
Beginning with the 2014 NEC (National Electrical Code), tamper-resistant receptacles are required in most new and upgraded residential locations, and in some commercial applications. These type devices make it more difficult to insert things, including plugging things in, but the extra trouble is worth it if it prevents injuries and possibly saves lives.
In existing homes, consider buying the plastic inserts and plugging them in, at least in the receptacles more readily accessible to toddlers and young children.
We have 2- and 3-year-olds operating computers, tablets and other electronic game and communication devices. Make sure to keep liquids and contaminants at a distance. Gadgets are replaceable, but injuries may be far more difficult to recover from, and the psychological scars can be significant.
This is especially true with heavy loads, like space heaters or blow dryers. Watch for discoloration around sockets, frayed cords, etc. Consider adding extra outlets or circuits if needed to avoid overloaded and potentially dangerous situations. And try to instill this kind of thinking into your children.
Teach children not to play hide-and-seek behind or around electrical boxes. If your child loves to climb, make sure she or he is aware that utility poles, metal towers, and fenced-off electrical transformers are definitely off limits. Make sure they are aware not to go near downed power lines.
Keep safety foremost in your subconscious mindset, and teach your children to enjoy the benefits of electricity—safely! An ounce of proactive thinking may save a ton of trouble down the road.
We’ll Never Leave YOU In The Dark!