Children and Electrical Safety

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t see a small child playing with their mother’s cell phone, watching tv, or even using a computer. Electricity is such a part of our daily lives that we often mesh kids and electrical appliances and don’t give it a second thought.

But, we should.

Electrical appliances, and, heat appliances, in particular, represent a danger to children. As our society becomes more reliant on technology, electronics, and charging cords which aren’t in use, become a common sight. Here are some situations that we, as electricians, see as offering the most danger to little ones.

Electronics and power cords

Only restraint prevents us from resorting to anecdotal tales about young children whose interactions with chargers and electrical cords result in tragic outcomes. The problem with a lot of these chargers is that they’re of a low-voltage variety-- ‘safer,’ we think. But, ‘safer’ when it comes to electrical shock isn’t ‘safe.’ Also, many electrical devices have appliances which plug into them. Cell phones can have earbuds. Computers have USB ports or printers. And all of these devices are used unthinkingly around water.

Turning up the heat

Because of GFCI’s, electrical plugs are the safest they’ve ever been. It’s much harder for a child to get electrocuted by a wall socket. The hazard lies with burns from heat appliances, such as hair straighteners and toasters: when children see how they operate they attempt to mimic parental behavior. Just like that cuss word you let slip becomes your toddler’s favorite new word, it seems like the things which represent the most danger to them are the ones they want to try.

Fans

Traditional fans are not safe, but we’ve heard of parents who didn’t have the money to drop on a bladeless fan say that a tower fan was an excellent second choice.

Major appliances

The two most dangerous electrical appliances in your home are your dishwasher and your range. The reason is that both of these have drop down doors. Dishwashers don’t tip over when mounted properly, but they’re full of sharp things and detergent, which is much more toxic than it seems. The range is a hazard because kids want to climb on the door to see what’s cooking on the stove, and if it isn’t bolted down correctly, it tips.

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Parent bombardment

Society bombards parents with information that it believes is critical for the child’s well-being. (It should be noted that none of these so-called experts are available to babysit on Saturday night when the parents need a breather.) The result is a kind of numbness on the part of parents. After being slammed with so many do’s and don’ts all the time, even the most hyper-vigilant parent becomes desensitized by the sheer volume of warnings, recommendations, and safety products.

Still, about 100 kids a year die from electrocution, which is surprisingly low when you consider the number of kids and electrical products that mesh. A greater threat is the vast number of electrical accidents involving children which result in burns.

If you need a fast, affordable electrician for your home or business, call RSB Electrical at 480-485-4284.