Electrical outlets are what some might say a necessary evil. We need them to give utilize our precious electronics and appliances, but when you have little ones around, they become a source of panic, rather than power. Read more below on what you can do to keep your kids safe around electrical outlets.
Children are taught from a very young age to match things both visually and manually. For instance, an infant is taught, as early as 4 months of age to begin using their hands to put things together. Blocks and puzzles for this age range are made in all shapes and sizes and kids are taught to put the round peg in the round hole, etc. Once a child becomes mobile, they become curious about the world around them and begin to touch everything they can see at eye level, which puts electrical outlets in their direct view. A child will pull themselves up to touch them and will then proceed to either stick their fingers in them, or use whatever is within their reach to push through them. This is an extremely dangerous situation for kids, which can result in electrical shocks, electrical burn or even death.
How to prevent electrical injury
There are several options to keep kids safe from electrical outlets. There are the good old standby plastic plugs that block the outlets from being exposed. These are a cheap, but effective way of keeping kids little fingers out of the outlets. They are also a pain in the you-know-what. Not only do they have to be taken out each time the parent may want to use the outlet, but what happens when the child is old enough or skilled enough to take them out themselves? Back to square one...
A better option is to have tamper resistant outlets installed throughout the home. A tamper resistant outlet is a new type of outlet that is exactly that: tamper resistant. The outlet has blocks inside the outlet that require that and object (plug) that is the exact size of the slot is put in with equal amounts of pressure on both sides in order to get through. This kind of device makes in nearly impossible for a child to stick something, such as a key, into the outlet, therefore preventing injury. These outlets are now required for any new construction project as part of the 2011 National Electrical Code. Ask your electrician about having tamper resistant outlets installed in your home. The cost of these outlets is relatively cheap, usually around $50-$100 for the average home, plus the cost of installation. These must be installed by a licensed electrician, but the devices can be purchased at your local hardware store. The cost of having these outlets installed is priceless compared to the piece of mind you will have knowing your little one is safe.
If you have any questions, or for a free quote, give us a call today!
Kenny Corrao, Owner
Corrao Electric Co., Inc.