The Importance of Baby-Proofing Outlets

Posted in Electrician Tips on October 5, 2018

There are many safety precautions to consider when you have a baby in the house, including electrical outlets. Electronics are a great part of our daily lives, but unfortunately, most are not designed with children’s safety in mind. Though you most likely can’t avoid utilizing them in your home, you can take the necessary steps to make electrical outlets and receptacles as safe as possible for your loved ones.

Importance of Baby-Proof Outlets

Babies love putting objects into electrical outlets. They see you plugging something in and want to do the same. An outlet becomes a new toy for a baby, but this is very dangerous. Keys, paper clips, knives, hair pins, and jewelry are just a few examples of the many common items children poke into electrical outlets. If your baby puts something in an outlet, they are at serious risk for an electrical shock.

Every year, approximately 2,400 children are treated for shocks and burns related to tampering with electrical outlets. That’s about 7 children every day. Even more troubling, about 12 children die from these injuries each year. Baby-proofing your electrical outlets is so important, it could save your child’s life.

How to Baby-proof Your Electrical Outlets

Though parental supervision is the best form of baby-proofing, there are several ways to ensure your baby’s safety around electronics. But first, you must determine what kind of receptacles you have.

Receptacles are behind the outlet cover. They are the mechanisms that electrical wires screw into. In regular receptacles, the slots are open holes, making it very tempting for a young one to play with. Tamper-resistant receptacles contain spring-loaded shutters on their receptacles that must be pushed simultaneously to open. This is an obvious advantage, so obtaining tamper-resistant receptacles is the first step in baby-proofing your outlets.

Next, you should identify whether you have standard outlets or Decora style outlets. This will determine what products will fit onto your outlets. The difference is in the way the outlet cover attaches to the receptacle: standard outlets use a screw and the Decora style covers clip onto the receptacle.

Outlet Caps

These are great for outlets that aren’t frequently used. They are simply plastic covers that plug directly into the outlet. The front is flat, making it difficult for a baby to pull it out of the outlet.

Safe-Plate Slide Covers

These are baby-proof outlet covers that replace your existing one. Safe plate slide covers have spring-loaded shutters that cover the holes in the sockets completely. To plug something in, place the prongs into the cover and slide it across to reach the actual outlet.

Complete Outlet Covers

There are also devices that cover the entire outlet in a cage-like manner. This will not only prevent your baby from reaching the outlet, but it will also prevent them from unplugging any cords.

Baby-proofing your electrical outlets is very important. No matter which method you choose, it will keep your family safe and ensure your peace of mind.

By all means, replace all the light bulbs, and light fixtures to your heart’s content. As for any re-wiring or other serious electrical work, it is best to seek out a professional. This way you can ensure the safety of you and your loved ones. For the long-term integrity and reliability of your home contact the professionals at Socket Doctors today.

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