Preparing a home for a child includes an extensive task list, and it should be dealt with as soon as possible, for children grow at different rates, and it’s better to be safe from the start than to kid-proof after an accident! You’d be amazed at how much of our lives include some sort of electrical component, and all electricity can be dangerous for a child, so everything must be considered when preparing for a kid. Of course, things like having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed near bedrooms and ensuring candles and matches are out of reach can be a given, but some home dangers may not be so obvious.
Cover and Hide Outlets and Cords
Any electrical outlet that is lower than counter height needs to be covered or blocked by something heavy, like furniture, so the child cannot access the outlet. All electrical cords should also be secured and covered so that they cannot be yanked on or bitten and possibly cause harm to a child. Power strips can also pose a threat to kids as they can easily unplug a cord and stick something inside the holes and possibly electrocute themselves. Keep power strips unexposed and behind furniture if possible, if not, investing in power strip covers is the next best thing.
Another helpful device that can be an extra level of protection for your children’s electrical safety is tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets have features that help protect children from sticking foreign objects into them. They function on a spring-loaded shutter, that when unused, stays closed. The outlet only allows a flow of electricity when equal pressure is put on it simultaneously, like when inserting a plug. Although not protective against children imitating adults and plugging electrical plugs into things, these tamper-resistant outlets help with them trying to stick in objects like hairpins or your car keys.
Put All Appliances Out of Reach
When you childproof your home, it’s essential to make sure all your appliances are out of reach of tiny hands. Keep all appliances unplugged to save energy and keep your little ones safe, including kitchen appliances like toasters, and coffee machines. Remember to also keep blow dryers, flat irons, and other hair appliances out of reach and definitely away from children and water.
Bigger appliances like stoves and microwaves can also be a danger to kids. Stove knobs should be removed or covered when you aren’t cooking so children can’t turn the knobs themselves. Children under seven years of age should also not use microwaves because they may accidentally set something on fire or injure themselves with hot substances.
Electronics Can Pose a Threat
Starting with the biggest electronic you may have in your home, your television should be mounted, even if it is on a TV stand. Kids can easily climb objects and could be injured if something were to fall over on them. Even electronic chargers can pose a threat, so finding a safe space for small devices to charge can help with little ones getting their hands on the cords. Anything that is powered by batteries should also be stored away somewhere children cannot reach. Batteries from a remote control, watch or cell phone can be swallowed easily by curious kids.
One of the best things you can do to keep your family safe from electrical dangers is to install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or GFCIs. These devices can help protect you and your family from electrical shock and electrocution. They do this by automatically turning off power when it detects that an electrical current may be leaking from the circuit into the ground and not something needing power. Need help installing childproof outlets, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors or even GFCI outlets? Contact Colvin Electric for all your electrical needs and ensure your family is safe in your home from electrical dangers!