Improve your baby- or kid-proofing plan with these six tips

If you have young children, you know what a joy it is to be a parent. Every day, it’s like having a new and magical gift. In fact, just gazing upon their cherubic faces while they’re fast asleep is enough to melt your heart.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten the schmaltzy stuff out of the way, let’s get real. Kids can be great, but they can also be a headache. If they haven’t already ruined your couch, permanently traumatized your cat, or broke any number of devices, just wait. And, of course, it’s our responsibility to help ensure that these little angels don’t hurt themselves.

Clearly, one of the biggest hazards in a home is anything related to the electrical system. Parents have to be proactive about keeping their children safe from outlets, cords, and other things that look like fun to munchkins. Whether for babies, toddlers, or older kids, these tips can help improve electrical safety around your home.

1. Keep things covered

The easiest thing you can do to protect your kids is to cover up your outlets. For children, pretty much everything looks like something to play with, and because they’re pretty much eye-level with outlets for a while, this makes them even more tempting.\

Just pick up a big pack of those little plastic caps and fit them into all the outlets you’re not using. And sure, they’re pretty annoying to get out when you actually do need to use an outlet, but it’s a small price to pay.

2. Put stuff higher up

While you can’t do anything about the outlets, you can make sure that things that need to be plugged in aren’t as accessible. Use upper shelves or cabinets for devices or appliances. Push things like a toaster further back on your counter. And if there’s something you don’t use all the time – like a blender, for example – just put it away until it’s needed.

Do what you can to hide those cords that kids love pulling on. Running them under a carpet or taping them to the wall can be a big help.

3. Spread out your usage

You know what kids see when they look at a power strip? A brand-new toy. While convenient for you, they can be dangerous when little fingers start pulling or pressing. This is why – if you can’t hide them adequately – you should try spreading out the stuff you need to plug in, so you don’t have to rely on them as much. Or, perhaps you can put them in high places the kiddies won’t be able to reach.

4. Be especially careful in the bathroom

We all know that water and electrical devices can lead to disaster, but this isn’t something most kids can readily understand. This is why it’s a good idea to keep all devices out of the bathroom, especially when your tots are taking a bath.

And this goes for wireless devices as well; though they won’t hurt anybody, a waterlogged phone or tablet will almost certainly result in an expensive replacement.

5. Talk to your kids

If you have young children, you know that trying to explain stuff to them is often a futile effort that ends in tears (often yours, not theirs), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to talk to them about electrical safety. And don’t just say not to do something; tell them why they shouldn’t do it. Eventually, those lessons – especially if they see you leading by example – will sink in.

6. Stay vigilant

Even if you have all your bases covered with outlets, cords, and everything else, that doesn’t mean you’re completely home free. To make sure you not only keep your kids safe but yourself and your home too, it’s important to be aware of any potential issues that could lead to big problems. Buzzing sockets, flickering lights, burning odors, or anything else out of the ordinary should be investigated immediately.

Want to make sure your electrical system is keeping you as safe as possible? Get in touch with Universal Electrical to have one of our technicians give it a thorough inspection.