How to Protect Your Children From Being Injured by Electricity
Electric power lines, wires, appliances, outlets and meters surround us continually, unless we happen to be camping in a remote location. Sometimes, people become so accustomed to this powerful force, that we take it for granted and forget how dangerous it can be. Children, in particular, may not be taught the correct ways to protect themselves from being injured, burned or even killed by touching electrical sources carelessly, and they are often completely unaware of the electricity dangers in their home. For example, do your children know that they should not use an electric appliance, like a radio or hair dryer, when they are taking a bath? This may be something you never thought about teaching them.
In addition to avoiding electricity when children are around water, below you will find some other important information that your children need to know.
What are some of the other facts children need to know about safety around electricity?
First and foremost, let your children know that electricity is a powerful force that can cause them serious injury. If they have ever been shocked by a little bit of static electricity, let them know that the electricity from a wire can be much more painful, and could even kill them. It is important for them to understand how to practice safety using electricity.
Keep Kites Away From Lightning and Wires
Children should be taught that they should never fly a kite during rain, or even if they can hear or see thunder and lightning in the distance. If they can see lightning, they are close enough to be struck by it. If their kite string becomes wet, it is especially dangerous because it can conduct electricity down to them. Franklin may have survived his experiment with a kite, but children need to know that what he did was very dangerous and they should not try it themselves! Also, when your children make a kite, remind them to use materials like plastic, paper, wood and string that usually do not conduct electricity. They should avoid materials like wire, metal and foil.
Keep Kids Away from Utility Poles and Power Lines
Adventurous children who like to climb trees should be warned to never climb utility poles, or trees that are near utility poles. Trees that are touching power lines can be dangerous because they may be wet from a recent rainfall or lawn watering. Also, if they see a bird sitting on a wire, it does not mean that the wire is safe. Birds can sit on the wires because the birds are not in contact with anything on the ground. If we touch a wire, the electricity may travel through us in an attempt to find a path to the ground. When it does this, it can cause us serious harm! When children see utility workers climbing the poles and handling the equipment, let them know that the workers are specially trained to be safe around electricity, and that they are wearing protective clothing. Without their training, equipment and clothing the linemen could get hurt, too.
Keep Kids Away from Electric Meters and Transformers
In addition to avoiding power lines, children should be taught to stay away from your home's electric meter and any transformers in your neighborhood that may be mounted on the ground. If they notice that the meter, a transformer, or an electric wire seems to be damaged they should bring it to the attention of an adult right away, so that the utility company can be called. This attentiveness to the potential dangers of electricity could make them a real hero!
Teach Children Safety When Using Hair Dryers around Water
As I mentioned above, children also need to know that certain materials can make electricity even more dangerous. If an appliance that is plugged in, such as a radio or hair dryer, drops into a swimming pool, a sink, or a tub of water, the water itself can conduct the electricity and become dangerous to touch. They should never reach into water to retrieve an appliance without unplugging it first.
Teach children that they should not use an electrical appliance when they are wet or standing in water, because it increases the likelihood that they could get shocked.
Teach Children Safety when using Electrical Appliances
Children should be taught never to touch metal to an appliance that is plugged in. For example they should not poke anything into an electric outlet, especially not their fingers or a piece of metal. Special covers from Amazon.com can be purchased to protect young children from the dangers of outlets.
The final step in teaching safety around electricity is to instruct children on the proper way to remove a plug from an outlet. Never unplug an appliance by pulling on the wire. It could break and become very dangerous. Children should let an adult know right away if a wire seems to be broken or damaged. Remind your children that they should immediately tell you if they ever touch their clock radio, television or other appliance and get a shock. It should be checked immediately because it may have a short in it!
With a little training, even very young children can be taught the potential dangers of electricity. It could save their lives!
Other articles that parents may want to read:
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