Teaching children electrical safety can keep them safe from the dangers of electricity.
Children are very curious and adventurous. They are constantly testing the limits of their environment and learning about the world. Read on to know how you can teach your children about electrical safety.
Read books, watch videos
Use books about electricity as a starter. There are a lot of children’s books that explain how electricity works. You may seek help from bookstore staff to find you a book that’s available. There are also credible sources and videos available online.
You can try looking for these books:
- Oscar and the Bird
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
- The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip
- Electricity for Kids: Facts, Photos, and Fun Proto Project
- You Wouldn’t Live Without Electricity
For YouTube, you can look for these:
- Electrical Safety Tips for Kids by StraightTalkAlert
- Kids Safety by OG&E
- Kids Block Electricity Episode
Make sure you do it together so you can answer questions they may have. You may also create a memory game that will make them have fun while learning. Of course, you should include prizes!
Electricity is invisible so it can be hard for children to understand. Seeing what dangers electricity could cause can help kids know that electricity exists.
One way to demonstrate electricity is to do safe science experiments at home with your children. Make sure to use protective equipment. And make them wear lab coats!
You can try the following experiments:
- Roll a Can with Static Electricity
- Separate Salt and Pepper with Static Electricity
- Make Your Own HEXBUG Nano
Show them what happens when they rub their shoes across the carpet and then touch their hair. If they feel a tingle in their fingers, they may start to get a sense of what electricity is all about.
Make sure to also teach older children the proper way of using appliances.
Create safety rules at home
Rules aren’t cool, but they sure keep things in order. It’s never a bad idea to enforce rules at home, especially for electrical safety.
Here are some basic electrical rules your children should follow:
- Remove devices that are not in use.
- Spread electrical equipment around different powerpoints to avoid overloading.
- Never daisy-chain power boards.
- DO NOT touch electrical appliances and light switches with wet hands.
- NEVER touch electrical appliances without adult supervision.
- DO NOT poke sharp objects into electrical sockets.
- NEVER insert your fingers into the electrical sockets.
- DO NOT yank the cords out when unplugging.
- NEVER touch transformer boxes.
- DO NOT fly your kite or climb a tree near overhead power lines.
Childproof your home
As an adult/parent, it is your responsibility to minimise the risk of any electrical mishaps within the home. Here are some things you can do to ensure electrical safety at home:
Install RCDs (residual current devices), which cut the power immediately in an emergency.
Around a quarter of all electrical accidents in the home happen to children under 15, so teaching kids about electrical safety at the earliest opportunity should be a priority for every parent.
Here are some ways to do it:
- Avoid using Double Adapters/Powerboards
- Put on outlet covers or caps, especially if you have toddlers.
- Childproof/Shuttered Powerpoints
- Keep electrical appliances out of reach.
- Install Electrocution Protection Devices/Safety Switches (RCDs)
- Tie up loose cords with a plastic cord shortener to avoid kids playing with them.
- Hide power strips behind desks or furniture, if possible.
- Make wires entirely inaccessible for kids.
- Read our article on Proven Electrical Safety Guide for Your Home
Begin teaching children in the home about electricity at a young age. At every opportunity, teach them where it comes from, how they should use it. Be proactive in reminding them of hazards and the risk that electricity misuse can potentially pose to themselves, their families, and the community.
In the event of electric shock
When helping someone who’s receiving an electric shock, turn off the power at the main switch first. Push the person away from the source so you can turn off the current. Use a non-conducting object, such as a broom, chair, rug, or rubber doormat to do this.
Stand on something dry that doesn’t conduct electricity, such as a rubber mat or folded newspapers.
Call 000 for emergency help and stay with the person until help arrives.
For more tips and tricks to building a safer household, get in touch with go-to sparkies.