5 steps to childproofing your home’s electricals
Is your family growing? Congratulations! There are a million things to think about when you have a baby on the way, but amidst the madness don’t forget to put some time aside to childproof your home long before your little one starts crawling about.
Being safe around electricity
Babies are curious creatures. A child’s natural desire to explore the world around them is a critical part of their early development, but it can also result in all sorts of accidents and injuries if they happen to stumble upon something dangerous.
While it’s easy to imagine that the biggest risks lay outside (say, crossing the road or playing on the playground), you might be surprised to learn that most children’s injuries take place at home. Almost 3 in 10 (28 percent) of children in New Zealand sustain an injury needing medical attention before the age of two, according to research from The University of Auckland. About 69 percent of these injuries take place at home.
Yes, from dodgy stair railings to toxic cleaning products and everything in between, there are many hazards to consider when baby proofing your home, but in this blog post we’re going to focus on the one we know best: electricity. Read on to learn more about how you can childproof your home’s electricals and keep your little one safe.
1. Keep dangerous kitchen appliances out of reach
The kitchen might be the heart of the home, but it also contains more than its fair share of electrical hazards. Ideally, you want to keep your benchtop spaces free of clutter and store your electrical appliances (including the jug, toaster, blender, sandwich press and so on) in cupboards that can be secured using easy to install safety locks.
If you do have to keep your appliances out in the open, be sure to keep them well away from them the edge of the counter, leave them switched off at the wall and hide or secure the power cables as best you can. When cooking, try to get in the habit of keeping the handle of your frying pans and saucepans facing the wall rather than jutting out where they can be snagged by wandering fingers.
2. Pay special attention to power cords
The modern home is riddled with power cords, all of which are liable to regular wear and tear over the years (particularly if you have pets!). As the cables get twisted and trodden on, the insulating sheath can get damaged, which may leave the inner conductive wires exposed. If your little one were to touch the wire, there’s a risk they could get quite the shock.
With this in mind, it’s important to inspect all your power cables for signs of fraying. Electrical tape will work for minor repairs, but if the damage is more extensive you might need to think about replacing the cable.
In addition to keeping the power cords in good condition, you can further child proof your home by making the cables less accessible. For example, rearranging furniture and heavy rugs in front of electrical outlets is a great way to conceal power cords and limit access to them. If this isn’t possible, consider using cable clips to reroute your cords and keep them under control.
3. Buy some electrical outlet caps
Kids are inexplicably infatuated with electrical outlets. To inquisitive young minds, power outlets look just like hungry little faces that are waiting to be fed fingers, spoons, keys, coins and whatever else happens to be laying around. Of course, when that object enters the outlet, there’s a very real risk that it could lead to a severe electric shock.
The good news is that protective outlet plugs offer an inexpensive and easy solution - at least while your child is young and lacks the dexterity and strength to remove them. Scour your home for outlets and insert a protective plug into any socket located below waist level.
4. Block off certain parts of the house
The most effective way of childproofing your home is to simply block off the most dangerous parts of the house. The garage, for example, is a veritable minefield of power tools and sharp objects, while your laundry probably contains all sorts of harsh cleaning products that no baby should ever be able to access. Investing in safety gates and barriers is an easy way to restrict access to the most hazardous parts of your home and reduce the risk of accident and injury.
5. Protect your stuff
It goes without saying that your child’s safety is the number one priority, but it’s worth remembering that child proofing also involves protecting your possessions from your kids! Expensive electronics are simply no match for your little one who will not hesitate to topple over your TVs and sound systems and pull your laptops and cellphones to the floor.
Use a combination of the techniques mentioned above to keep your child safe while protecting your possessions from damage and always remember to be on high alert when things are suspiciously quiet!
Thinking about switching electricity providers? Give us a call today and find out how much you could save on your power bill by becoming a customer of Pulse Energy.