There are estimated to be around 1,000 deaths due to electrocution each year in the US. However, children are at particularly high risk. Curious children and electricity do not mix.
In 63 percent of injuries in children under age 12, electrical cords were to blame. In another 15 percent, wall outlets were involved.
It’s important to protect them against these hazards as soon as they become mobile.
At Herrmann Services, we’d like to keep all the Cincinnati children safe, so we have come up with a list of precautions you can take that can help prevent injuries. They may seem simple, but make it a point to do them so your family is safe.
1. Teach Them about Electricity Early
The way to best protect your child from electric shock is to educate them about electrical safety. This can generally begin around age three, starting with simple concepts, such as “electrical outlets and cords are not toys, they can hurt you.”
As they get older, you can be much more specific. For instance, they should never touch the prongs when plugging things in, and don’t use electrical devices in or near water.
2. Make Safety Upgrades
Making some easy upgrades to your home can help safeguard your child against electrical injury. In kitchens, bathrooms and other areas where water may be present, it’s strongly recommended to install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets.
These will shut off the flow of electricity to electrical objects before electrocution can occur. However, it’s important to test them monthly to ensure they’re still working. Another simple tactic is to install plastic safety caps on your outlets. They will prevent very young children from sticking things into sockets.
3. Correct Potential Hazards
If you can see it and it’s within easy reach, you should assume a young child will try playing with it. Walk around your home and keep an eye out for any potential electricity hazards.
These may include damaged electrical cords, improperly fitting plugs or electrical devices that can be easily pulled from tables or shelves. Similarly, any areas of your home where water pools near electrical wires or outlets must be rectified immediately. Don’t forget to check outdoor outlets as well.
You may also wish to assess the condition of your home’s electrical system. Are there loose or broken outlets, frequent shorts or outages? These things can dramatically increase the chances of injury and should be repaired by a professional Cincinnati electrician.