Babies and children seem to be drawn to electrical outlets. About 2,400 children get shocks and burns every year from playing with electrical receptacles, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and 20% of all electrical injuries involve children and toddlers. When you baby proof your home, it’s therefore important to consider any exposed electrical receptacle or component.
Here are some of the key areas to address:
Outlets are low to the ground, so are often at eye level, especially for crawling babies. Maybe they look like faces, which further spurs their curiosity. Fortunately, you can improve electrical safety for babies by installing outlet covers. These plastic or rubber parts attach directly to the outlet. You can also install a tamper-resistant receptacle that features spring-loaded shutters, which must be pushed simultaneously to open—obviously, babies can’t compress both at once and can’t plug something in.
The National Electrical Code requires all houses built after 2008 to have tamper-resistant receptacles. You can also buy cheap outlet plugs if your electrical receptacles don’t meet this requirement.
The power at home has suddenly gone out. No, your baby has just pulled the power cord out of the wall! Most homes have many devices, electronics, and appliances plugged in, so there are many opportunities for a curious toddler. You can stop them from getting to plugs in the first place by moving furniture in front of exposed outlets. A child-resistant electrical outlet cover can do the trick, yet your cords are still visible, and the plastic cover can be easily removed by an adult.
Sitting on the ground, a power strip is a magnet for babies that love outlets and cords. You can try strips with special covers, domes, or boxes over the plugs that keep them out of reach. Reducing your need for power strips is another solution. Install more child-proof outlets, which a professional Los Angeles electrician can help you with, so you have safe electrical access and reduce the risk to your baby.
Try to avoid using them. An extension cord is enticing to a teething baby or one intent on poking something into the end, and is a trip hazard for a wandering toddler. If one must be used, put a duct cord cover over it. Some of these have multiple channels to accommodate power cords and Internet cables. You can also use an electrical cord shortener to loop extra cord around, so it’s out of the way.
Prioritize Electrical Safety
Electrical safety for babies isn’t the only consideration you should have. You should protect your entire family. If any wiring is damaged, have it repaired or replaced immediately. Make sure all your electrical components are up to date and, if there’s the slightest hint of a problem (such as flickering lights, power surges, sparks, burning odors, or buzzing outlets), call Express Electrical Services and a Los Angeles electrician can be at your home in 60-90 minutes, 24/7.