Every parent and grandparent in San Angelo understands the increased concern for safety when a toddler becomes mobile. There are so many hazards for a curious child to discover one they can move around the house unassisted. But one of the most concerning issues becomes the safety of electrical outlets. While these are essential components in your home’s electrical system, most are located right at eye level for a curious child who is beginning to explore the world with tiny, wet fingers.
The National Fire Protection Association reported some alarming numbers regarding small children and electrical outlets. Sadly, over 2,400 children, mostly toddlers, suffer severe burns each year from placing their fingers in an electrical outlet. In addition, it only takes a second for a child to sneak away to explore the new objects that are now within reach when you turn your back. So all households with small children need to take action to protect little ones from the hazards of electrical outlets.
Not So Safe Safety Covers
Many households have used the small plastic covers that fit into an outlet for years. These were some of the original items created to protect small children from electrical shocks and burns. However, children’s tiny fingers are perfect for removing these safety covers in only seconds. But that is only part of the trouble. Once the plastic cover is removed from the outlet, it typically is placed in the child’s mouth and becomes a choking hazard. Therefore, these safety plugs for outlets are more suitable for a home with pets rather than small children.
Slide Covers Are The Next Option
Many switched to slide covers once parents saw that most children had no trouble removing the plastic outlet plug covers. These covers have no removable parts, so they do eliminate the choking hazard. But they also don’t provide much electrical safety. Children watch adults manipulate the slide cover just a few times before they practice and master the task. So again, these slide covers are ideal for protecting pets from electrical shocks but do little to prevent curious children from accessing electrical outlets.
Proper Childproof Electrical Outlet Solutions
The only reliable electrical outlet covers that prevent children from access are the ones with multiple latches. This is because the design requires all of the latches to be released at the same time. And to ensure that a small child cannot release them all simultaneously, they are located at the top, bottom, and side of the outlet cover. It makes them too far apart for a toddler’s hand to span and activate all at the same time.
Other safety outlets can be installed that only supply power when a two-pronged plug is inserted. So even if a child inserts a finger into the outlet, there is no electricity to injure them. While this might sound like the perfect solution, it is crucial to understand that it can also create added safety issues when the child is at other houses with standard outlets. The false sense of security will come crashing down when the child pokes a finger into a traditional outlet and gets hurt.
The only guaranteed way to protect a child from electrical hazards is diligent adult supervision. For more information about electrical safety and how to protect youngsters from electrical hazards in your home, call (325) 221-3616. The licensed electricians at Legacy Electric have assisted customers with childproofing for years and have a good understanding of the choices and installation methods. In addition, our team is here 24/7 to assist you with any electrical emergency at your home that could be posing a safety hazard to your or your loved ones.