Don’t Let Them Learn By Accident
Young children love to explore, and are curious about the things they find, both inside and outside of your home. If you have kids, you most likely have used outlet protectors and told your young children to not touch or try and put anything into a power outlet. As your children get older, giving them more information about how electricity works and its dangers will help to keep them safe — just remember to keep your lessons simple so they don’t lose interest. Here are five important safety tips to share with the kids in your life.
1. Water and Electricity Don’t Mix
Explain that electricity travels through water, and that it’s important to keep electrical appliances and toys away from sinks, bathtubs and swimming pools, and to maybe not have a big glass of water next to the computer. You can also stress the importance of getting out of the swimming pool or lake whenever there is thunder, not just lightning.
2. Outdoor Electrical Lines
We might not pay much attention to the electrical lines that come into our house, or other electrical equipment that services our neighborhoods. Take a walk with your kids and point out power lines, utility poles, substations or other electric supply equipment and make it clear that they should never touch or climb on them. If your children have a kite, stress the importance of using it in an open area away from power lines.
3. Outlet Protections
If your kids haven’t learned the basics of electricity in school, you can give them a general explanation and tie in the fact that wires connected to the toaster, computer, and other electronic devices are made of rubber to protect us from shock. If you turn out the lights, you might be able to show the kids a spark at the outlet as you plug in an appliance. It’s a good visual to stress the importance of being careful when they use power outlets.
4. Electricity and Fire
Electricity is often the culprit in house fires, whether from bad wiring, overloaded outlets, or flammable items being placed too close to electric space heaters or lamps. Children might not make the connection between electricity and fire. Go through your house and show them how to properly use power strips, how far away to stay from space heaters, and also how to call 911 in the event of a fire. You might also want to show older children your home’s circuit breaker box, and how to turn off the electricity to certain rooms.
5. Keep an Eye on the Wires
With all of the electronic devices we use on a daily basis, our homes can sometimes seem like an obstacle course made of wiring. Teach your kids how to use power outlets without creating a tripping hazard, and to let you know if they see any wiring that looks frayed, cut, or otherwise damaged.
We rely on electricity for so much, and don’t often think about it how it works. Going over basic electrical safety with our kids will protect them from injury and keep your whole family safe and aware.