How Can I Keep Children Safe from Electrical Injuries?
Children are highly susceptible to electric shock. Their curiosity contributes to this risk, exacerbated by a tenacity for sticking objects into electrical outlets, playing near electrical wiring, and putting electronic devices in their mouths. About 2,400 kids are treated in emergency rooms every year after an electrical shock, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
To protect your child:
Cover any electrical outlet that’s not being used. Special outlet covers and even tamper-resistant receptacles with shutters are effective because they prevent a child from getting their fingers or an object near the outlet.
Put safety lock covers over power or surge strips. These devices are often located on the floor or low surfaces and are thus accessible to small children curious to find out what they do.
Keep any appliance up high so a toddler or child can’t touch it. Any type of electrical appliance can transmit current that can severely shock, burn, or otherwise injure your child.
If there is a room with many electrical devices, such as your home office or home theater, keep the door closed or locked so your child does not have access to it.
Replace any frayed cord or wire. Don’t try a quick fix like electrical tape; it won’t protect a child from an electric shock.
Install ground fault circuit interrupters in any room water and electricity may mix; they provide one of the best means of shock protection.
Teach older children electrical safety by demonstrating how to use a plug correctly. Practice safe techniques yourself, including not overloading outlets, using surge protection devices, and unplugging cords gently to avoid damage.
Lastly, if your child is injured, disconnect the power supply before touching them, lift the wire away with a nonconductive object (dry stick, thick garment, or rolled-up newspaper), and call 911 or get them to a pediatrician as soon as possible. Try not to move the child, unless you can’t remove the source of current. Once the child is no longer exposed to the current, check their vitals, begin CPR if necessary, and check for burns or other injuries.
If you need to install tamper-resistant receptacles or other protective devices, our Los Angeles electrician can help to make your home as safe for your children as possible. Never try to install safety devices yourself if they require any adjustments to wiring or electrical components. We’ll make sure everything is installed safely and correctly.