Toddlers are inquisitive and could be curious about everything within the house, especially as it pertains to electrical fittings. So, as soon as they can crawl or move around – it is important to baby-proof all electrical outlets, cords, and other dangerous things so your baby can be safe and protected from electrical shock.
So, for new parents; how would you baby-proof your electrical outlets and cords? This could be one of the challenging periods in raising your children because, at this point, the children want to explore and practice everything they watch adults do.
And because it is usually easy to miss out on something as you baby-proof electrical outlets, cords, and other dangerous spots within the house – this article will focus on how to carry out baby-proofing of everything especially as it relates to electricity.
Before proceeding, it is important to know the types of electrical outlets that are available in homes – this will keep you informed on the type of guards to buy.
Types Of Electrical Outlets
There are two types of outlets as recognized by the United States of America, they include;
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)
The GFCI acts as a protective device in the case of inconsistency between power flow and the needed power of a device. This outlet prevents accidents and injuries to the child – other advantages include; prevention of fire, protection of your device, and offers protection from electrical shocks.
So, to know whether your outlet is GFCI – check the outlet for the ‘test’ and ‘reset’ button
Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)
This type of outlet offers protection from Arc faults which could be a result of a damaged cord which makes it not be connected properly – however, parents must be careful because sparks from this fault can lead to a fire outbreak.
How To Hide Electrical Cords
Several cords run in the home – some are for the TV set, some for lighting purposes, some are used in the kitchen, and other areas in the house.
Dangers of having these cords exposed are:
- It can make a baby trip
- The baby can chew the cord
- Babies can choke when they wrap the cord around their neck
- The risk of electrical shock
- The baby can destroy the cord, play with them, and access the electrical outlet
However, the following are ways through which you can hide electrical cords from your baby;
Locate All Open Outlets
The first thing to do is to highlight all exposed electrical outlets within the house before creating a plan on how to cover them. You could make use of your furniture to hide them from your baby. However, you must ensure that this furniture is big and stable enough not to fall over your baby.
Use A Cord Shortener Or A Cord Cover
With a cord cover, you can cover all cords without exposing them – this serves as protection so your baby won’t be able to pull or chew the cord. The cord shortener is attached to the electric outlet and the excess cords are stored into it preventing your baby from gaining access to it. This is one of the safest ways of hiding electrical cords from your baby.
The Use Of Duct Cord Cover
The duct cord covers are a safe way of ensuring that loose cords on the floor are covered. This ensures that the cords are not exposed and your baby won’t trip while playing around the house. These duct cord covers usually come with adhesive tape that can be used to attach the cord to the floor.
You Could Wrap The Cords Together
One sure way of wrapping the cords together is by using tape or a cable sleeve. This is ideal for use on your computer, stereo set, TV, and other points where you have cables connected or exposed. The use of cable sleeves in wrapping your exposed cables helps to prevent choking hazard which could arise if left exposed.
Types Of Outlet Plug Covers
Since electrical outlets are always attractive to babies, it is the responsibility of parents to make them unattractive and safe to their children.
There are three types of outlet plug covers;
Plugs (plastic outlet covers)
They are made of plastic materials and then inserted into the outlet to serve as a cover. Besides, the plugs are often difficult for the kids to pull-off. So, what you need to do is just to push it into every open electrical outlet and that settles it. However, it’s been discovered that older kids over time have devised a means of pulling off the cover halfway exposing them to the risk of electrical shock.
Box Outlet Covers
This is ideal for use on outlets that are in regular use. The cover forms a box-like shape around the outlets and the plugs going into them. This makes it difficult for your little one to remove and access. However, you will need a screwdriver and some screws to get it installed. Also, this might not be suitable if you have a challenge with space.
The Sliding Outlet Covers
These covers have a retractable face. It works by getting the outlet to one side to plug your appliances. However, when you are through – it gets back to the original position having the holes closed. This cover must be screwed in to install it. So, most of the self-closing outlets come with sliding features that enable you to slide down the cover to reveal the hole. However, some have complained that this type looks complicated for them – but it pays in the long run.
Durable Outlet Plug Covers
The following are some outlet plug covers recommended for use in your home.
This pack of 50 outlet covers is ideal for homes with many outlets. It prevents your baby from electrocution and accidents. It is easy to install – just insert the cover into the exposed outlet, and that’s it. Besides, there is a 100 percent guarantee that it won’t be pulled off. Therefore, the Wappa baby outlet cover is regarded as one of the best outlet plug covers in the marketplace.
Some covers can be easily pulled off by determined kids but that is not the case with the Safety 1st Deluxe press fit outlet plug. It comes with an 8 resistant outlet plug that has met all safety regulations and is durable. This outlet cover is removable and reusable.
Power Strip Covers
A power strip – otherwise known as the extension – is a collection of electrical sockets that are attached to a cable and have a plug at the other end. The power strip allows several electrical gadgets to be powered from a socket.
The power strip covers are made from plastic and have an opening that allows the passage of cords and provides coverage for the power button and the unused outlets
The following are some Power strip covers:
The Mommy’s Helper power strip cover comes with 4 safety plugs that can cover any unused or exposed outlets. Besides, it is made to fit single-row power strips and protects from an unexpected power surge. Also, the strip cover comes with 2 reusable nylon zip cords protector that helps to secure the cords and sticker labels for easy identification of cords.
It keeps the children safe by covering the outlets preventing children from accessing them. It can be used either on the floor or mounted on a wall anywhere around the house. However, this device works by covering the strip, prevents the cord from being pulled off, and powers on/off the switch and plugs. So, for parents in search of a reliable power strip cover – the Safety 1st power strip cover is worth trying.
Safety Tips For Baby Proofing Electrical Cords
- Do not handle electrical sockets and cables in the presence of your toddler
- You must always be vigilant when you have your child around especially when they suddenly go silent
- Do not encourage the use of toys around electrical sockets
- All appliances not in use must be disconnected from the sockets
- The use of a power strip cover is essential, especially when using an extension cord to power your appliances.
- Always teach your children about electrical safety especially when they get to the stage where they can learn and understand the dangers involved
Baby-proofing all your electrical cords might be a daunting challenge, but it is achievable if you put your mind to it. There should be a plan in place even before your child begins to crawl or walk around.
Besides, it might look difficult – but since the safety of your child is paramount, it is advisable to practice all the safety tips as highlighted in this article.
So, you must know how to hide all exposed cords. Identify the type of outlets in your home and the ideal cover and power strip covers that will serve as protection. Also, follow other safety precautions that will protect you and your family from any electrical hazards.
The safety of your child and indeed your whole family is non-negotiable!