Do electrical cords pose a serious threat to infants’ safety? According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), the answer is yes. In fact, at least seven children end up in the emergency room with serious electrical burns or shocks every day, ESFI reports. Identifying electrical hazards is one of the most critical steps in baby- and child-proofing. Use this guide to eliminate shock, burn, and electrical injuries in your home.
Hazard #1: Exposed Wall Outlets
Most parents realize that leaving outlets completely exposed will end in disaster. Many, however, do not realize that popular, plug-in covers are inefficient and often impractical. Parents and siblings may forget to replace outlet covers after each use, and the tiny plastic fixtures can pose serious choking hazards if they end up on the floor. Toddlers may even be able to remove the relatively lightweight, plastic outlet covers, according to Parents magazine.
Stationary outlet covers with horizontally sliding locks and doors are a much safer alternative. Parents determined to use removable outlet covers should choose ones larger than the end of a toilet paper tube (in other words, covers too large to pose a choking hazard), and/or covers that users must squeeze or twist free, Parents magazine adds.
Hazard #2: Loose and/or Damaged Electrical Cords
Damaged electrical cords endanger everyone in your home, not just young children. Immediately place damaged, frayed, or loose electrical cords. Never attempt to patch or tape torn cables. Install convenient desk grommets onto desks, tables, and furniture. Hard plastic or rubber grommets prevent cords from bending and breaking, while keeping electrical cords well out of babies’ and toddlers’ reach. Rubber grommets also keep cords away from desk and table edges, where infants can tug wires and pull TVs and appliances onto themselves.
Don’t risk serious injury to your child. Use stationary, locking outlet covers, and keep electrical cords contained — and out of babies’ reach — using furniture grommets.