Babies and toddlers are curious. They will investigate virtually anything if left unattended to. That is why parents should spend many hours painstakingly baby proofing the house. One of the many ways a baby can harm himself or herself is by poking things into the electrical outlets. Since we can’t do away with power outlets, the safest thing to do would be baby proofing electrical outlets in the house.
Before we start thinking of how to baby proof electrical outlets, we first have to think about the different outlets you might have in your house. These include:
- Regular wall outlets
- Power strips/extension chords
- GFCI outlets
- Electrical receptacles
- USB outlets
- Electrical hazards from faulty switches or exposed wiring
Baby Proofing Regular Wall Outlets & Power Strips
If you are living in an old house that has never been renovated, chances are that your wall outlets use a receptacle that isn’t tamper resistant. Tamper resistant receptacles (TRRs) have a spring loaded shutter that close off the power outlet openings. The only time they will open is when they are depressed simultaneously. The chances of your baby doing this with any toy are very low.
- Ensure that all your accessible wall outlets are tamper resistant
- Check to confirm that the spring loaded plastic shutters actually work
This should also apply to your power strips and extension cord outlets.
While TRR makes the outlets safer, you can make them baby proof by purchasing outlet plugs. These are plastic caps that tightly fit into your wall or power strips outlets and completely seal them off. Your baby can’t access the outlet without removing this cap which isn’t that easy to uninstall with tiny hands.
You will have to remember installing the caps once you are done using a power outlet and are about to leave a room.
Keeping Your Baby from Tugging at Cables
The next problem would be ensuring that the baby doesn’t tag on, chew or play with loaded power cables. The simplest solution would be keeping power cables out of the way. Ensure any permanent or semi-permanent wiring is carefully stashed out of the way using cable conduits or just call professionals to put it into the wall. This is not only neat but also keeps the cable out of the baby’s reach.
In cases where your power cables must interface with accessible wall outlets, invest in a baby safety electrical outlet cover. This is a tough plastic cover that encloses the plugged in cables and the socket hence making it hard for the baby to pull out the plugs. You should also get child proof power strip covers.
The best way to baby proof your electrical outlets is by ensuring that they are as inaccessible to the little one. If possible, change your behavior and adapt to use select few outlets that are hard to reach and cover the rest. For instance, keep power strips out of the baby’s way by placing them on high spots instead of leaving them lying on the ground. Your baby cannot mess with electricity if he or she can’t reach the few active power outlets.
Electrical Services in Houston, TX
If you have any questions on baby proofing your electrical outlets or would like a professional electrician near Houston, TX to do it for you, be sure to contact us online or give us a call at (832) 791-2935 to schedule an appointment with Aaron’s Electrical Service.