Toddlers and electricity: babyproofing your home

When a toddler is in the house, the home must be made safe. We advise you so that your toddler can develop in complete safety.

#electricity

In Luxembourg, injuries are the leading cause of death among children. At the top of this list are domestic accidents, mainly inside the house. To avoid electrical risks while allowing your baby to develop, precautions must be taken!

Accompanying your child in discovering the world

Whether crawling, sliding or crawling on all fours, as soon as your baby is old enough to move around, nothing can stop him! The house then becomes a vast playground to explore.

Faced with this frenzy of discovery, the first reflex is of course to never leave your child unattended. Your baby is often intrepid and your vigilance must be constant.

As your child grows, he or she becomes aware of the dangers around them. Accompany him in his development. Depending on his age, explain the dangers of electricity to him. A clear and easy-to-understand discourse will enable him to recognise and avoid risky situations.

As we know, children learn by imitating adults. So don’t hesitate to set a good example! In your kitchen, don’t go from washing vegetables to using the blender with wet hands.

Do you need to change a light bulb? Switch off the relevant power supply at the circuit breaker before carrying out any work on the electrical network.

As a general rule, adopt good practices that guarantee the electrical safety of your home, such as avoiding multiple sockets.

What are the risks of electrification for young children?

The passage of electricity through the body can cause skin burns, heart rhythm disorders and organ damage. In the event of an electric shock, even if it seems benign, have your child examined by your doctor.

Among the domestic accidents that occur in young children, the risk of electrification represents a significant proportion. This is not very surprising when babies are discovering their environment and many electrical installations are located at their height.

Electrical sockets are the most important potential danger. Sockets are particularly mysterious to a young child. It is very tempting to slip fingers or small objects into them.

More generally, you should be aware of everything in your child’s path. Extension cords on the floor and electrical appliances within reach, even when unplugged, can be dangerous.

In addition to sockets and appliances, faulty electrical installations are another source of accidents.

What can be done to avoid electrical accidents?

  1. To protect young children from the risk of electrical accidents, the first thing many parents do is to fit safety devices to sockets.
  2. For your children’s sockets, choose effective socket covers, such as suction cup or keyed socket covers. You can also install safety sockets for babies that are fitted with eclipses. These prevent anything from entering the holes. There are also sockets with a built-in child safety system.
  3. Don’t forget to secure all your electrical installations. Check that your sockets and switches are in good condition. Also make sure that no electrical wires are stripped.
  4. A high-sensitivity differential circuit breaker, which automatically cuts off the current at the slightest short-circuit, is mandatory for each house or flat.
  5. If you feel a tingling sensation or heat when touching a working appliance or switch, for example, have it checked by an electrician. Regular repair and maintenance of your electrical installation is essential to keep the whole family safe. If in doubt, contact a professional.
  6. Think also of the small everyday gestures that can easily prevent risky situations. Don’t leave electrical wires and extension cords lying around on the floor, even if they have been disconnected. Your baby could put them in his mouth and, by dint of handling them, will quickly understand that he can insert them into a socket. Put them away or hide them behind a piece of furniture.
  7. Go around the lights within your child’s reach and make sure they all have a light bulb. This will prevent exploration and prevent contact between the conductive parts and their fingers.
  8. As you know, water and electricity do not mix. In the bathroom, unplug and store your hairdryer or shaver after use. Similarly, do not leave your electrical appliances near the sink in the kitchen.

Source: RETRACE 2013 report from the Ministry of Health

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