Every single year in the United Kingdom alone there are 350,000 serious injuries and 70 fatalities caused by electricity in the home. Couple these startling statistics with the inquisitive nature of the little ones and it’s not difficult to see why electrical safety in the home is of paramount importance.
Here are a few handy hints and tips to keep the kids (and the grown ups!) safe at home.
Keeping Sockets Safe
Little people with little fingers should not be combined with dangerous electrical sockets. Now, standard socket covers simply won’t cut it. It’s worth noting that most electrical sockets (unless the installation is fault) in the UK are safe, so a simple cover is unlikely to add any safety. Instead, you should get Residual Current Device (RCD) protection in the fusebox or as a separate plug in device. The aim of RCD protection is to continually monitor the electricity flow and, if there’s a fault, it will automatically cut the power.
Keep Cords, Electrical Devices and Wires Out of the Reach of Curious Hands
It seems obvious. But it’s surprising how many incidents in the home occur as the result of children getting their hands on something they shouldn’t. As a parent (particularly of a toddler or young child) it can sometimes feel like you need eyes at the back of your head. You can’t possibly see them every single second of the day, so instead, just make sure that any wire or cords are completely out of reach. High shelves!
Mobile chargers are worth a mention on their own. Young children have a habit of putting things into their mouths and a plugged in charger in a baby’s mouth won’t end well. If you’re done with your charger, get it up on one of those high shelves or locked away in a drawer.
Post Paddling Pool and Bath Time
We’ve all been there. You take your toddler out of the bath and before you’ve had time to try them properly, they’re wriggling free of the towel and running off on their next household advernture. However, this can actually be potentially dangerous. Make sure the little ones are completely dry before either letting them free of the bathroom or letting them back in the house after a splash in the paddling pool. Wet children and a house full of electrical appliances might not be a great combination!
No Drinks Rule!
We’re not suggesting you ban drinks! We’re just suggesting you impose a rule about the proximity of drinks to electrical appliances including games consoles, MP3 players, steros and TVs.
Kids are curious. Tell them not to do something and they’ll want to know why. So educate them. There’s a great UK website designed for kids that’s all about electrical safety. You can find that at http://www.switchedonkids.org.uk/. There are also apps that are designed to teach your children about electrical safety. Many schools often educate children on electrical safety too and it’s worth enquiring with your child’s school as to whether this type of education will be offered.
Annette Smith is a freelance copywriter, avid parenting blogger and Mum of three. She writes for electricians and other tradesmen in the UK as well.