Most parents in will agree that when children become mobile, their anxiety level skyrockets. There are hazards everywhere, from steps and open windows to all of the electrical outlets around the house. And what makes the outlets possibly the worst fear of all is that they are right at eye level for all curious toddlers who are just beginning to explore the world. Parents need to take action early to prevent any heartbreaking catastrophes.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 2,500 children suffer from severe burns each year as a result of putting their fingers or other items into an electrical outlet. And sadly, most of them are toddlers who are just trying to discover all that the world has to offer. Therefore, it is up to parents, grandparents, and caregivers to ensure that all of the outlets in any house with small children are appropriately childproofed to prevent these awful accidents.
Safety Outlet Covers Are Not Really That Safe
The small plastic cover that plugs into an outlet is the most common childproofing used in the country. But the problem is that these covers are only a challenge for adults. Children’s tiny fingers are able to manipulate the covers easily in most cases. And because they are right at eye/crawling level, they attract a great deal of attention.
Once the child has the cover out, the trouble continues. Now the outlet is exposed, and the cover is likely to end up in the child’s mouth to become a choking hazard. And then, the moist fingers return to the open outlet to make the potential for an electrical shock and burn even greater.
What About Slide Covers
The significant advantage of the safety slide covers is that there are no pieces to choke on. However, these devices are far from childproof. They are more like the dexterity toys that children typically master about the time they start to crawl. All it takes is a few minutes for the child to figure out the slide mechanism or see an adult open one of the covers. Then they are capable of accessing all of the outlets near the floor. While neither of these options is really going to stop a child from getting into the outlet, they can be used in a household where pets need to be prevented from getting hurt by an electrical shock.
Reliable Safety Covers
The only genuine childproof covers involve several latches that must be activated simultaneously. In addition, these spring-loaded covers require pressure on the top and bottom of the cover as well as aside. The span of the pressure points makes it nearly impossible for a child’s small hand to activate all of the releases at one time and access the electrical outlet.
There are also safety outlets that can be installed that only supply power when a two-prong plug is inserted. Thus, even inserting fingers or another object will not result in a shock or potential burn. However, while these outlets are safer, they can provide a false sense of security when your child is in an environment with no safety plugs. There is really no substitute for a parent or other adult constantly monitoring a small child when they are near any hazards, including electrical outlets.
For more information about childproofing your home for electrical safety, call (813) 359-1944. The licensed electricians at Mr. Electric can recommend reliable safety products and even help with the installation process. In addition, we are available 24/7 for any electrical emergency in your home that could be posing a risk to you and your little one’s safety.