Electrical safety is one of the most important things to teach to your children from an early age. Between electrical outlets and household electronics, kids are at risk of serious injury on a daily basis if they do not know the rules for electrical safety. Give your child specific rules about handling electrical items and staying safe from electrical dangers outdoors as well.
Electrical Cords and Outlets
Teach toddlers and preschoolers to stay away from electrical outlets altogether. Put outlet caps on every socket in the house that your child can reach. For older kids, emphasize the importance of never touching the outlets with their fingers or objects. Show them the correct way to safely plug an electrical cord into an outlet and also how to unplug it. For extension cords, teach them not to plug too many items into one extension cord, as it can cause electrical overheating, which could lead to a fire. Teach the kids to look out for electric cords on the floor, but strive to keep them out of high-traffic areas as much as possible.
Electronic and Electrical Items
Teach kids about being safe with their electronics, such as music players, cell phones and household appliances. The most important thing is to emphasize that electrical items and water do not mix, as that is how people get electrocuted. Tell the kids they should never attempt to use anything electrical while in the shower, taking a bath or standing in water. Make sure that their hands are dry before reaching for the blow dryer. Young children should always ask an adult to use electrical equipment in the household, such as kitchen appliances. Do not allow the kids to use their computers near any beverages, as a spill could cause computer damage and there is a risk of being electrocuted.
Outdoor Electrical Safety
Teaching your kids about outdoor electrical safety is important because of all the outdoor electrical equipment found in many neighborhoods. Take a walk around the neighborhood and point out dangerous electrical items nearby, such as power lines. Teach your kids to avoid playing under or near them as much as possible, advising them against climbing trees that touch power lines. Point out any transformers that might be in your neighborhood. While these square-shaped machines appeal to kids as something to climb and play on, let your kids know that they can be extremely dangerous, and to never go near them. If you live near a sub station, show your kids the electrical warning signs on the fence surrounding it and make it clear that going near it is off-limits.
Electrical Emergency Situations
Teach your kids what to do in case of an electrical emergency. If the power goes out in your home, tell your kids to stay where they are until you come and get them to prevent accidents. Most rooms in your home should be equipped with a battery-operated flashlight, as well. If your child encounters a fallen power line while playing outside, he should get far away from it and tell an adult right away. Teach the kids to get out of the pool immediately if they see lightning, as lighting is attracted to water and they could get electrocuted. If they ever get stuck outside in a lighting storm, tell them to get away from trees and metal playground equipment, and show them how to squat as low to the ground as possible, with only their shoes touching the ground. Most importantly, if they see anyone hurt from electricity, tell them to avoid touching the person and to run for help immediately.
Teaching Electrical Safety
For young children, you may want to consider coming up with songs that teach the rules on electrical safety to help them remember. Use a familiar, kid-friendly tune that they already know to make it easier for them to learn. Constantly remind the kids of specific rules on electricity when you come across things like fallen power lines or several power cords plugged into an extension cord. You could also make a game of learning electrical safety rules, by giving pop quizzes to the kids and giving out small rewards for correct responses.
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