Keeping your home safe for curious toddlers and small children is a must. Children don’t understand safety risks, so it is your job to provide the childproofing necessary to prevent accidental injuries. Electrical outlets and cords pose a severe threat to your child. We’ll discuss ways to keep these outlets and cords safe for little ones, giving you peace of mind as you watch them grow. There are some simple tips you can use to enhance the safety of outlets and cords and some great products on the market to help.

1. Understand the Risks of Electricity and Children

Without infants and toddlers in the home, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your outlets and cords. However, children have curious minds and are easily amused by nearly anything new that grabs their attention. Electrical outlets are no exception. Outlets are often located low on the wall, near the floor, where small children can easily reach them. If your child sticks something into the outlet, there is a great risk of injury from electrical shock, electrocution, or fire.

Power cords are dangerous to little ones as well. Cords present a trip hazard for children who are still wobbly on their feet. Your child could become tangled up in longer cords, leading to injury. Additionally, if your child were to yank on a cord, the item it’s connected to could fall on top of your child.

Understanding the dangers of outlets and cords is the key to successful childproofing in your Dallas-Fort Worth home.

2. Inspect Your Home For Dangers

The first step in childproofing your electrical cords and outlets is to inspect your home. Go through each room of your house and identify all outlets, cords, or other electrical devices within a child’s reach.

While childproofing your home, this is an excellent time to schedule a routine inspection and maintenance appointment with one of our licensed electricians. Our electricians can go through the home with you, identifying any outdated electrical components or any issues that need repairs. Our experts can help you find the best products for childproofing and make any necessary electrical updates.

3. Find the Right Products

There are loads of childproofing products available both in stores and online. When choosing your childproofing items, read the descriptions and reviews carefully to find the safest products available. Your child’s safety is your number one priority. We’ve compiled a list of childproofing products you may need to keep your electrical outlets and cords safe for your toddler.

Outlet Caps

Electrical outlets can be like a magnet for little eyes. Sticking little fingers or other objects into an electrical outlet could result in shock, electrocution, or electrical fires. Outlet caps block the outlets so that your little one cannot put anything into it. These small plastic caps plug into your outlet just as a cord does, blocking the opening and preventing foreign objects from being inserted. These caps should fit snugly and be difficult for even an adult to remove. You can find outlet caps widely available online and in stores.

Outlet Plates

An outlet plate covers your entire outlet. The plate slides on over your outlet, covering all plugs. Outlet plates are ideal for outlets that are not in use, as they will not work if you have something plugged into any of the outlet slots. Outlet covers are easy to attach but are not simple enough for a toddler to remove.

Tamper-Resistant Outlets

If your electrical outlets were upgraded or your home was built after 2008, you may already have tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets have spring-loaded shutters that keep the receptacle closed until a plug is inserted. Both shutters must be pushed at the same time for them to open. This design keeps the safety of youngsters in mind, keeping the outlet closed if a child sticks something into one side of the plug. Our highly qualified electricians can easily upgrade your outlets to the tamper-resistant version. Never attempt to change outlets yourself; electricity is dangerous and volatile and should only be handled by a professional.

Outlet Covers

Outlets that have items plugged into them can also be dangerous. Your child could pull the cords, giving them access to the outlet and creating a potential hazard if the plugged-in item falls. Outlet covers go over the plugs in the outlet, ensuring your toddler cannot unplug the electronics. These covers usually have a hinged opening, allowing adults to plug and unplug appliances while keeping little hands out.

Childproof Power Strips

Some power strips feature a locking design that requires you to turn the outlet when plugging an item in. This means that a child who tries to poke something into the empty outlet will be met with resistance and no power. However, power strips can be extremely dangerous and there are additional steps you can take to childproof them. Use outlet caps in unused spaces of the strip. You can also find power strip covers, similar to outlet covers, that allow you to cover the entire strip with cords plugged in.

4. Check Furniture Placement

Whenever possible, use your furniture as a guard against open outlets. Place your cabinet, TV stand, or sofa in front of outlets to block access to small children. If you have an outlet already behind a piece of furniture, use it when possible.

5. Avoid Extension Cords

Extension cords create added hazards to your home, with or without children. Whenever possible, skip using extension cords. These cords create a tripping and tangling hazard, especially for little ones still a bit wobbly on their feet.

6. Use Cord Covers

If you do have longer cords that you can’t conceal, consider a cord cover on the floor or lower part of the wall. Your curious toddler may want to tug on the cord, causing the device to fall over and possibly causing injury or damage. Your teething child may also be tempted to chew on cords, resulting in shock or electrocution if the outer cord is damaged. Use plastic cord covers or even tape to hide cords running along the floor or up the wall.

7. Secure Loose Cords and Cables

Cords that dangle pose a safety threat as well. If possible, try keeping them up and out of reach. Use zip ties, tape, or cable management hardware to keep your electrical cords away from small hands.

If you are a new parent or grandparent and you’re excited to watch your little one grow, you know safety is crucial. At HR Phoenix, our expert electricians understand the importance of safety and the role electrical safety plays for your family. Our electricians can help you with your childproofing needs as well as most other simple and major electrical jobs. We offer outlet changeouts, new fixture installations, rewiring, repairs, electrical panel upgrades, and so much more to keep your Dallas-Fort Worth home safe, comfortable, and reliable. Rest easy as you make memories with your family knowing that HR Phoenix has your safety in mind.

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