We can’t predict accidents very well, that’s why they’re accidents. Parents with kids know this quite well. When trying to predict electrical accidents, it can be even less predictable. And accidents with electricity can be very serious. Kids or adults can suffer severe injuries, injuries with lasting effects or even death. So, all precautions and teaching you can do with kids about electrical safety could wind up being very important. What are the main risks? What rules and lessons can you talk about to stay safe in your house?
Teach Kids to Stay Far Enough from Outlets, Sockets and Cords
Electric devices, outlets and cords are safer now than ever before. You can even take good steps to childproof sockets. It’s still smart to teach kids as young as possible about not touching outlets, plugs or cords. Once a child can crawl, he or she can begin investigating all around the house, including electrical devices or parts. You might need to watch them very closely. If there’s playing with, touching or putting an object into an outlet, this is a time to be loud and clear about not doing this.
Watch Safety Videos
It’s too easy to watch a bajillion hours of stuff online, like on YouTube, so take a few minutes here and there to watch electricity safety videos. Watch them with your kids. This way, you can talk during and after the videos.
Here are a few good videos about electrical safety:
- Electric Safety Tips for Kids by StraightTalkAlert
- Kids Safety by OG&E
- Kids Block Electricity Episode
- Electric Safety World by Snohomish Public Utilities
Read About Safety with Electricity
This might be the best way of teaching kids and talking with them in a way they’ll understand. You want them to understand the risks and rules about electricity, but also the good aspects and ways we use electricity. This should be fun and interesting, not a strict, boring lecture. Reading books is quality time for parents and children. Here are some titles about electricity and safety for kids:
- Oscar and the Bird
- You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Electricity
- The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip
Teach Why Sockets and Cords are Dangerous
A next step once a child is a little older, about four or five years old, is explaining what electric cords and sockets do. It’s good to be strict and tell kids they could get hurt or die. Tell them never to stick anything into an outlet. If they need to do anything with a plug, outlet, cord or device, ask an adult for help. Tell them to not pull on or move cords or wires.
Teach Kids to Keep Anything Electric Away from Water
Parents should begin teaching this lesson as early and as young as possible. Many electrical hazards, involving kids and adults, have to do with electricity and water or moisture. Many accidents happen with electricity near sinks, showers, toilets, on kitchen counters, near standing water, outside in driveways or patios. Hair dryers, hair curlers, toasters, outdoor tools and even phones can mistakenly be used near water. Moisture and electricity together can cause electrocution.
Teach kids to tell adults and get help with any electric device or appliance at all close to water. Kids, or adults, shouldn’t touch cords, devices or switches if they have wet hands or even if they are standing in water or in any contact with water or moisture.
Outside, everyone should be very aware and careful about electric devices near pools. Be careful about using tools in yards, driveways, garages and porches as there could be moisture, puddles, standing water, sprinklers or rain.
Keep Away from Wires and Sparks
Teach children about staying away from anything sparking in or out of the house. Stay away from downed, fallen or broken power lines, electric wires or anything broken or dangerous. Even if you don’t see sparks, smoke or anything dangerous, downed lines, cables or wires may still be active and live. Any wires, cables or lines in or near water is an even more dangerous situation to stay well away from. You should teach kids about not playing with anything in the air or climbing trees close to power lines.
Call 911 if You See Any Accident or Injury with Electricity
Once a child is old enough to use a phone and know about 911, you can teach them about calling 911 if there’s a situation involving electricity, maybe a fire, some other accident, and people who are injured or in need of help. Tell them not to try to enter the scene or get closer to the electricity or the area themselves.
Good Electric Safety Rules
Along with talking about safety and rules, it’s helpful to write down and post rules somewhere easy and frequent to see in the house. The rules should be simple enough for young kids to understand. It’s good to go over them sometimes as a reminder.
Some of the possible, suggested electrical safety rules on a list for kids and families can be:
- Do not put fingers or objects into electric outlets.
- Do not use electronic devices near water or when your hands are wet.
- Do not plug too many devices into the same power strip or extension cord.
- Do not pull cords, cables or wires.
- Do not touch transformer boxes.
- Do not fly kites or drones near power lines.
- Do not climb trees near lines.
- Ask a grown-up for help when using new electronic devices.
- Do not use water to put out an electrical fire.
When is it a Good Time to Call an Electrician? Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation. We can provide everything you need when thinking about a whole home generator for your home and family. Our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694.