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How to Keep Your Child Safe Around Electrical Outlets

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My oldest child will turn nine in October. It's crazy to me how quickly the years have slipped by and how fast he is growing. When I was pregnant with him, I remember this overwhelming need and of course, natural maternal instinct to protect my child. I hugged my baby bump, gingerly moved between furniture and doorways, and read every book and article I could fix my eyes on to learn the best ways to keep my baby safe.

When children enter into our lives as newborns, they are fully reliant on us as parents for everything- nourishment, safety, comfort, and personal care. Honestly, they don't need much more than that when they're just starting out, but as infants begin to grow (and it seems to happen overnight), there are so many safety precautions that need to be put into place to ensure their safety as they begin to explore the world around them.

One of my biggest fears regarding safety for infants and toddlers (outside of safe sleep), is protection from electricity. It's one of those seemingly obvious, yet hidden dangers which we're warned about and urged to protect against as new parents, but it can quickly become an afterthought when you're sleep-deprived and in survival mode during those first weeks, months, and perhaps even years of your child's life.

Why do electrical outlets appeal to kids?

It's no mystery as to why kids are intrigued by electrical outlets, especially toddlers. If you get down onto your hands and knees and begin to crawl around the room as your baby or toddler would, you'll immediately be able to see potential dangers which might cause harm to your small children. I did this with both of my kids. When they began to crawl, I also crawled through my entire home to look for things that could be dangerous. Electrical outlets were close to the top of my list. Though I had taken early precaution and used outlet covers to plug up and essentially block outlets which weren't currently in use, I quickly discovered how quickly and easily they could become dislodged if pulled on hard enough.

Ever heard the phrase, 'Monkey see, monkey do'? It's fairly common, and it refers to copying someone. Kids are so much more observant than we think they are. They pick up on the tiniest things, and of course, they love to copy and imitate their caregivers. Think about how many times a day you plug or unplug something which requires electricity. I do it countless times a day, and my kids usually see me do it. I still recall the first time my son reached for an electrical socket in our home, and even though it was covered by a plug, I swatted his hand with a firm 'No' and 'ouch' as I pointed to the outlet and hugged him.

As our children grow, it becomes easier to explain the dangers associated with electrical outlets, but let's face it- kids are still learning to listen and how to process tons of information when they're in their toddler and early elementary school years. My youngest child (age three) loves to help me clean the house, and enjoys trying to pull the cord to the vacuum out of the wall while I'm using it. This is doubly dangerous, as the electricity and the cord both become hazards. 

I've taken my own measures to protect my kids around electrical outlets in our home. 
Some of those include:

Keeping outlets plugged with safety plugs
Covering unused outlets with cover plates
Keeping cords organized and out of reach
Watching my children or frequently checking on them
Explaining the dangers of electricity: 
why we never touch outlets, plug things in, or stick anything into the sockets
Using small appliances out of my children's reach

More helpful info:

Did you know that nearly 3,300 home fires originate in extension cords each year, killing an average of 50 people and injuring 270 more? Don't overlook additional dangers that can stem from electrical outlets and cords. For more information and home electrical safety tips, visit ESFi.

Taking safety precautions to protect kids from electrical outlet danger is a large part of child-proofing a home. It's not something that has to be done immediately when you bring a new baby home, but it's something that should be thought about before a new baby arrives. You can register for baby-proofing safety products and then you'll have those needed items on hand when it comes time to start baby-proofing your home. When your child is close to being able to crawl and cruise or walk, it's absolutely time to cover up those outlets. If you're looking to save money on your current plan, check out options for Cheapest prepaid electricity.

Take time to do a little research regarding how to keep your kids safe around electrical outlets. I have found this electrical outlet safety checklist so incredibly helpful. It has great tips as to what to look for or listen for when it comes to electrical outlet safety. It also has helpful and important information on how to keep your kids safe around electrical outlets.

The safety of your children is a top priority, and every extra step you can take as a parent to ensure their safety is absolutely worth it. Talk to your kids about the dangers of electrical outlets and add this to your child-proofing to do list if you haven't done so already. 

What steps have you taken to ensure your child's safety around electrical outlets in the home?

Let's chat child-proofing! Drop me a comment or catch me over on MBP social media at @mommysblockparty on FB or @mommysblckparty on Twitter and IG.

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