The first time your baby rolls over is a major milestone. From there, it won’t be long until they’re crawling and getting into everything! By this point, you’re probably thinking about baby proofing. There’s no shortage of baby proofing supplies available at any big box store, but before you check out remember to consider the dangers of electricity.
Luckily, there are many ways to baby proof your home when it comes to electricity. These are just a few of the options you can consider.
Since 2008, the National Electrical Code requires tamper-resistant receptacles in new or renovated homes. The receptacles have spring-loaded shutters that remain closed when nothing is plugged into the outlet. Both springs must have pressure on them at the same time or they won’t open. This can help prevent injuries if a child is trying to insert something, like a paperclip, into one of the openings. Injuries can occur if a child puts something in both openings simultaneously.
If your home was built before 2008, an electrician can install tamper-resistant receptacles.
Baby Proofing Outlet Plug Caps
If you want a cheap way to baby proof your electrical outlets, baby proofing outlet plug caps are an option. They are made of hard plastic and plug into the vertical slots of your outlets. The front part of the cap is flat, making it difficult for your baby to grasp and pull.
Although this is an inexpensive option, there are downfalls. Over time, outlet plug caps can become worn out and fit more loosely in the outlet. This makes them easier for children to remove. Forgetting to replace the cap after you use the outlet can create an opportunity for danger as well. Children are great mimickers and watch everything you do. It doesn’t take long for a young child to watch you pull out an outlet plug cap and repeat the action.
Electrical Outlet Cover Safe Plates
Electrical outlet cover safe plates sit over your existing outlets. Safe plates are spring loaded. To use the outlet, simply take the prongs of the plug and slide them across the plate to open the cover and plug in your cord. Swapping out your outlet cover is an easy DIY fix.
This option provides a more sturdy and permanent solution than outlet plug caps. Over time, the cover will continue to hold up no matter how many times you use the outlet. Additionally, the spring will continue to automatically close whenever you unplug something, so you don’t need to worry about remembering to replace the outlet plug cap.
Similarly to the outlet plug cap, children can watch and repeat how you use a safe plate. While it does take some coordination to slide and plug, a determined child will be able to figure it out eventually.
How to Stop Your Baby from Unplugging Cords
Dangling cords can be a big temptation to a baby learning to crawl. The danger is endless – they could get tangled in the cord, chew on it, or even unplug it and risk a shock. Hiding cords and wires is an essential part of baby proofing your home. While you could move furniture in front of your electrical outlets to hide the plugs, there is another option.
Outlet covers are box-like structures that sit over your existing outlets. The enclosure has small openings on the side for your cords to run through. In addition to preventing your children from unplugging your devices, it may remove some of the temptation to stick something in an exposed outlet.
Power Strip Protection
Power strips are a common issue when it comes to baby proofing your home. Anything within arm’s reach is fair game to your new crawler. The danger of an exposed outlet is amplified when it’s placed on the floor in the form of a power strip. Imagine it from a baby’s perspective – more holes, more cords, a button, and even a light. A power strip cover sits over the cords and has cutouts for them to run out. This can help prevent little hands from unplugging tempting cords.
While there are many other baby proofing options on the market, these are some of the more affordable and accessible choices. While all of these can help reduce the risk of electrical danger, the only way to fully protect your child is with close supervision.
If you’re ready to install new tamper-resistant receptacle outlets or need any other help with your electrical system, contact Turn It On Electric today.