When it comes to hazards around your home, most parents are quick to agree that electrical outlets are the most feared. They are everywhere in your home and even outdoors. And the threat of a severe injury or worse is very real. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 2,400 children suffer severe burns each year due to poking an item or finger into an electrical outlet. And 20% of all electrical injuries in the country involve a child, with the majority being toddlers. But what parents and grandparents are not sure about is the best way to prevent electrical accidents involving small children.
The Common Myth Of Outlet Safety Covers
The plastic safety plug is the most common accessory used to protect children from electrical shocks. These are the plastic pieces with the two prongs that slide into the outlet from the back of the plug cover. They are often made of clear plastic, so they do not attract unwanted attention from children. But because most outlets are located near the floor, they are often spotted by curious children. And unfortunately, these devices are easy for tiny hands to remove from the outlet. And once your child sees you remove one, he or she will almost always be able to master the process very quickly.
Slide covers are the other so-called safety feature that does little to protect curious youngsters from electrical outlets. These receptacles have a sliding cover that can be pulled down to cover the outlet. But children can slide the cover just as easily as an adult to reveal the dangerous and intriguing outlet. While these are both options to cover electrical outlets to protect curious pets, they are no match for the curiosity and dexterity of a toddler.
A Reliable Safety Feature
Several versions of childproof safety covers and electrical outlets will prevent access, even by tiny curious fingers. Some childproof outlets come with a spring-loaded cover that must be released on both the top and bottom of the cover and one side. This multiple latch system makes it nearly impossible for a child’s small hands to reach and activate all three releases at one time. The same type of safety cover can be purchased and added to most standard outlets in your home.
Other safety outlets include a sensor feature that is only operated when the two prongs of a plug are inserted into the outlet. So the plug on your toaster will activate the sensor, but a child inserting a finger or a car key into one side of the outlet will not be shocked. To learn more about having safety plugs installed in your home, call (325) 221-3616 to speak to a Legacy Electric professional.
Other Electrical Safety Concerns For Parents
Electrical cords represent many hazards for small children. But unfortunately, they look fascinating and are almost always within reach of children. Cords plugged into wall outlets often become the object of a child’s attention until they have managed to pull the plug from the outlet. It can be hazardous if the cord is old and brittle as it could easily break, making the live end a shock hazard. And even if the cord does not break and the plug comes out of the outlet, the child can get badly shocked trying to return the plug to the outlet.
It is important to remember that nothing is perfect. And that safety outlets and covers are only part of the solution. Children should never be left without adult supervision when near any electrical outlets or electrical cords.