Research shows that approximately 2,400 children are injured each year by electrical outlets. That translates to nearly seven children a day. An average of 12 these injuries are fatal.
The most common cause of electrical injury is when a child sticks something metal into an unprotected outlet. Kids biting on electrical cords are the second leading cause of injury.
Children can also be injured when electric toys, appliances or tools are used incorrectly, or when electric current contacts water in which a child is sitting or standing. Christmas trees and their lights are a seasonal hazard.
Thankfully, most electrical injuries can be prevented by safety proofing your home’s electrical features. A few simple precautions can prevent a tragedy.
1. Cover All Electical Outlets
Outlet covers or self-closing outlets make electrical outlets inaccessible to small hands and the metal items they may try to stick inside. These covers are relatively cheap, easy to install and come in a wide variety of options.
2. Avoid Long Cords
Long power cords provide an irresistible draw for small hands to tug, pull and wrap. Not only are these cords a strangulation hazard, but they also can pull heavy, plugged-in items down on top of a child. Tape long cords down or cover them with carpets so they can’t be reached by children.
3. Keep Phone Chargers Out of Reach
Babies and toddlers may put the ends of phone chargers in their mouths, which can cause an electrical burn. Keep plugged-in phone chargers on top of counters and out of reach.
4. Bundle Multiple Cords
In areas of the home with multiple cords, such as the computer or entertainment center, bundle cords using cord sleeves. This makes them less attractive and accessible to kids.
5. Move Small Appliances Away from Water
Always provide adult supervision around bathtubs or pools. Be sure small appliances like hair dryers or curling irons are out of reach.
6. Install Tamper-resistant Receptacles
The vertical slots on these receptacles feature spring-loaded shutters that close off the opening to the outlet contacts. The shutters open only when pressed simultaneously, like when plugging an appliance into the outlet.
Children, especially babies, are unable to press both openings at once. This is an upgrade that an electrical contractor like Shockley Electric can easily install throughout the home, eliminating the need for plastic outlet covers.
- Amazon.com : childproofing electrical plugs
- Electric Shock Injuries in Children – HealthyChildren.org
- 54 Electrical Accidents & Workplace Injury Statistics (getonedesk.com)
How can we help?
At Shockley Electric, we address important home safety issues such as power surges, faulty electrical wiring and potential fire hazards when we do electrical preventive maintenance in homes or commercial buildings. We are licensed, trained, and skilled in safety-proofing your home, and we are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers.
If you are experiencing electrical problems in your home or aren’t sure if your home is protected from electrical hazards, schedule an in-home estimate or appointment with us today. Fill out our form or call us now for a free estimate!