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How To Teach Your Children About Electrical Safety

electrical safety
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Electricity is an integral part of our daily lives, so much so, we tend to be blasé about its potential dangers. When was the last time you looked at electricity from a child’s perspective? Have you gone down on all fours and crawled like a baby, trying to see what a baby sees every day? Would it surprise you to know that doing that could prevent an electrical disaster?

Young children are naturally curious and can get into trouble if not educated about the dangers of electricity. Electrical safety needs to be a parent’s highest priority, and education should start as early as possible. There are numerous ways to engage children and educate them at the same time.

5 Electrical Safety Tips All Children Should Be Taught

Children should be taught electrical safety as early as possible. As a parent, we should try to imagine the world through a child’s eyes and identify potential dangers from their perspective.

Most electrical dangers can be classified into the following five categories:

  • Electricity and water
  • Electrical Outlets
  • Electrical cords and cables
  • Electrical appliances
  • Emergency numbers

Electricity and Water

Electricity and water must never come in contact with each other. All buildings must have GFCI’s (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) installed where electricity may encounter water, for example, kitchens, bathrooms, the laundry, and outdoor pool areas.

Children need to be taught from a very young age that:

  • They must never play with electrical devices while in the swimming pool or bath.
  • They must always dry their hands properly before using electrical devices or appliances.
  • They must check that they’re not standing on a wet floor when using electrical devices or appliances.

Electrical Outlets

All electrical outlets not being used should have safety covers on. Where possible, only tamper-resistant outlets should be installed.

Children need to be educated that:

  • Only electrical plugs get inserted into electrical outlets. No other items or little fingers are to be inserted into the outlet holes.
  • Always ensure that the outlet is switched off when plugging a device or appliance in or out.

Electrical Cords and Cables

Electrical cords and cables should be placed out of sight whenever possible. They should be checked regularly to ensure they are not damaged, knotted, or entangled in any way.

Children need to be taught to:

  • Never put electrical cords or cables in their mouths.
  • Never unplug a device or appliance by pulling on the electrical cord or cable.
  • Always tell an adult if an electrical cord or cable looks damaged or frayed.

Electrical Appliances

Ideally, all electrical devices and appliances not being used, should be unplugged and stored away out of children’s reach. Children using electrical appliances and devices should always do so under adult supervision.

All children should be taught to:

  • Always ask for help when using electrical appliances.
  • Never put their fingers or any foreign objects into any electrical appliance e.g. toasters.

Emergency Numbers

Emergency contact numbers should always be displayed in a prominent, accessible place in the home. Children must be taught, as early as possible, how to contact emergency services and their parents in the case of any emergency.

4 Ways to Teach Children About Electrical Safety

Children must be taught about electrical safety from a very young age. They should be taught to respect electricity, but not fear it. Here are a few tips to ensure that your child is made aware of the dangers of electricity and potential electrocution, in an age-appropriate way.

1. Talk to Your Child

Talking about the potential dangers of electricity does not need to involve a lecture.

You can introduce the topic in everyday conversation while you are at home by:

  • Pointing out electrical outlets. Explain how they work and why only plugs must be placed in the holes.
  • Explain how to use appliances safely while you are actively using them. An example would be explaining how only bread must go into a toaster, while you are making toast for breakfast.
  • Always make sure that you are working with electricity safely. Lead by example. Never allow them to see you doing something you have told them not to do.

2. Watch Videos or Play Games

There are many fun and educational games and videos that can be used to teach your child about electricity. Invest in age-appropriate material and make the teaching fun. You can ensure they have understood what you are saying by offering prizes or rewards for correct answers.

3. Use Books to Your Advantage

You can teach your child about implementing electrical safely during story time. You can make their favorite character into an electrically savvy individual and press home how even they are careful when using electricity. You could also make the villain in the story an electrically unsafe character, enforcing the concept that being unsafe around electricity is bad.

4. Set Strict Rules

When it comes to electricity, there need to be strict rules about what can and cannot be done.

The following rules need to be enforced without exceptions:

  • Transformer boxes must never be touched.
  • Never use any electrical appliance or device near water or with wet hands.
  • Never overload an electrical outlet by adding multiple extension cords.
  • When unplugging an appliance or device, never do so by pulling on the cord.
  • Never fly kites or drones near power lines.
  • Never climb trees or scale walls that are near power lines.
  • Everyone needs to know the universal symbols for danger (a skull and crossbones) and electricity (a lightning bolt in a triangle)

Need Any Advice on Your Electrical System? Call Art!

The electrical system is complex and potentially dangerous. Residents of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade rely on the experts for any electrical advice and repairs. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric has been proudly servicing South Florida since 1983 and can be contacted at 1-800-475-1504 every Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm and on Sundays for any emergency.

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