One of the most exciting times in any parent’s life is when their baby starts crawling around. However, it comes with a lot of dangerous situations. It is not possible to watch 100% of the time. Sooner or later someone looks away. Therefore it is important to child-proof the home. One of the most important part of that is to make sure that the baby is protected from electrical shocks. You can find some useful tips below on how to achieve that.
Having a safe, baby-proof home is a continuous process. As your child grows, new experiences and new threats will abound. Always supervise children, even in the most carefully baby-proofed home. No matter how baby-proof a room is, unsupervised children have a knack for finding themselves in unsafe situations.
You can start by looking at the world through the baby’s eyes. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. What is it that they can reach? Those are the items you need to deal with primarily.
Soon after the precious moments when the baby arrives, we all have to start thinking about how to childproof our home. Most of us start buying gates, little foam pads etc. All scissors, knives, glassware gets hidden higher and higher places or in childproof drawers. When it comes to electrical safety most of us only thinks about putting little plastic plugs into the outlets. That is also the only thing that most companies, specializing in childproofing, offer.
Let’s see what actions can be taken in order to accommodate that little curious being in his or her new home. The recommendations covered her are all related to electrical systems.
Most of the plastic plugs are quite a hassle to take in and out of receptacles. Frequently people get tired of it and just leave the outlets unprotected. At one of my customer’s home the plug was so integrated into the outlet that the whole receptacle had to be replaced. A better solution is to install temper resistant outlets. These outlets are manufactured such a way that any object inserted into the whole can make contact with electricity only under special circumstances.
It is important to protect children with tamperproof outlets all throughout your home, as outlets are tempting toys for unsuspecting children. Sticking fingers or foreign objects into sockets puts them at risk of being shocked or burned.
Tamper Resistant Outlets are standard wall outlets that feature a shutter mechanism that protects children from placing foreign objects into the vessel. The outlet has a shutter system that is spring-loaded. Electricity only flows when equal pressure is placed on both shutters, like when a plug is inserted. When the outlet is not being used both shutters and openings will be closed. Children tend to put keys, pens, paper clips, bobby pins and other small objects into the outlet this can cause an electrical shock that can lead to burning or scarring.
See more on this topic in our blog: [Tamper Resistant Outlets]
Another group of dangerous items are electrical cords. Some babies love to chew on these wires that may carry electricity. Toddlers can easily trip over them. Kids can also tug on them so the appliance connected to this cord may fall on there head or cause some other problem. One approach may be to barricade these areas. A better approach, however, is to replace these appliances with solutions that do not require cords plugged into outlets.
Floor and desk lamps can be substituted by lighting fixtures installed on the wall or ceiling. Wall sconces are more useful for setting the ambiance in a room. Recessed lighting fixtures are the best choice in most cases. For general purpose lighting 5″ or 6″ recessed can light fixtures are recommended. They give a good overall illumination to every room. They are also considered stylish so it is not a solution that loses its usefulness in a few years, when the child gets older or the home gets sold. It actually increases the value of the house. Smaller recessed can lights can complement this system at certain areas. For example, installing a pair 3″ or 4″ recessed can lights above the crib may help with more specific activities around the baby. If positioned properly, they can also be used in the future as reading lamps above a bed or desk.
Regardless of the solution installing dimmer switches on all of these lighting circuits is highly recommended. It is invaluable to be able to dim the light intensity at night just to the right level that the baby does not fully wake up but one can still safely change the diaper. At the same time the light intensity can be increased to be very bright when it is really needed. For example, when a small object, which the baby can choke on, just accidentally fell into the crib.
Another device that is commonly found on the floor using cords is the fan. Ceiling fans are a great replacement for that. They not only provide a better air flow, but can be used as a light fixture as well. In addition, ceiling fans can lower your heating bill in the winter, if the fan is used in the reversed setting. When it comes to controlling the fan, it is recommended to have wall switches installed. Controlling ceiling fans may not be a tremendous inconvenience for adults, but kids have difficulties reaching the chain. Remote controls get lost many times and small children may swallow the batteries.
Humidifiers are also commonly used. They also pose dangers similar to the ones mentioned above. In addition, kids like to play with them, and the result is many times that the water gets spilled over the floor. As we all know water and electricity do not mix very well. Humidifiers can be installed into a central forced air system. A simpler solution is to install an outlet at a higher location and place to humidifier on the shelf.