Children are oblivious to the dangers of electricity and it is a parent’s duty to protect children from electrical dangers and potential accidents.
While there is no real benefit in being completely paranoid and consumed by everything that poses a risk, following a simple and logical checklist can help you to effectively childproof your home and minimise the risk of electrical accidents.
1. Ensure that the contact numbers and details for the family doctor, ambulance and other emergency services and the nearest hospital are clearly written and kept next to the home telephone. In addition, these numbers should be stored in your contacts list of your mobile telephone.
2. Every home should have a first aid kit and this should be in a place that is known to all members of the household and in a place that is easy to access.
3. Keep a small fire hydrant in the home in the event that there is an accidental fire.
4. Make sure your power and lighting circuits are protected by safety switches. It takes only 10 to 50 milliseconds for a safety switch to operate, which is quick enough to save a life, should something go wrong.
5. Ensure that all power points are covered by specifically designed covers which can be purchased from hardware and baby stores. This is imperative, even when power points are covered by furniture. It is amazing how skilled children are at reaching the seemingly ‘impossible to reach’ places.
6. In the kitchen, all appliances should be switched off at the power point and should be kept well out of the reach of children.
7. Ensure that electrical cords do not dangle over or off counters so that they can be pulled on.
8. All electrical appliances should be stored on high shelves or cupboards. It is important that electrical appliances kept in the bathroom are always returned to their proper place, well out of the reach of young children.
9. As electricity and water are a potentially lethal combination, take special care that electrical items are never plugged in to a power outlet near the bath or a basin.
10. Garages are typically filled with a variety of items that are dangerous to young children. For this reason, the garage is not an ideal place for children and they should certainly never be left in there unsupervised. Power drills and other large electrical devices that may be kept in the garage should be unplugged and stored well away from power outlets.
By following these logical and quite straightforward tips, you can make sure that children are protected from some of the most significant electrical dangers in and around the home.