Toddlers are little ninjas. If you turn you back for a second, they seem to teleport across the room and into something dangerous. Unfortunately, electrical outlets are one of the most common sources of fascination for young children, and one of the most dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 2400 children are brought to the emergency room each year, as a result of electrical shocks or burns. If your home was built after 2008 you have nothing to worry about because the 2008 National Electric Code requires that all homes built after that date to have tamper-resistant electrical receptacles.
Unfortunately, a lot of people live in homes built before 2008. Thankfully, protecting your children is inexpensive and easy. Some of the more common ways to protect your child include plastic plug covers, outlet covers, and power strip covers.
Plastic Plug Protectors
These are small pieces of plastic that are inserted into the outlet plug. Most also have a push tab that is easy for adults to operate, but more difficult for small children. They have the benefit of being inexpensive and easy to find.
They are best for things that are frequently plugged and unplugged, such as vacuum cleaners. However, if you forget to put them back after using the outlet, then they no longer offer any protection.
Outlet covers look like the switch plate that is already covering the outlet, and they are screwed directly over the existing one. The covers have spring-loaded openings that remain covered unless something is plugged into them. This prevents children from being able to stick things into the outlet. They are easy to install and you don't have to worry about remembering to put anything back.
There is also an additional type of outlet cover called a complete outlet cover which looks like a box surrounding the outlet. On one side, are two small holes for the cords hang out of the box. This type offers additional protection, as it also prevents children from plugging or unplugging the cords. Complete outlet covers are ideal for things that remain plugged in constantly, rather than ones that are frequently unplugged.
Power Strip Covers
Nearly all of us have some area of the home where we use a surge protector or a power strip. These require a different type of protection, which encases the entire strip. They are large tubes of plastic with a small rectangle cut out on the front, where the cords hang out. These are great for computers, or other areas of the home that require more than two electrical devices.
Protecting your child is your top priority and there are several options available for electrical safety. Using these different safety items from places like Safe-Way Electric & Solar Co. is the easiest way to keep your child safe in his or her own home.