Welcoming a new baby into your home means lots of joy and lots of work. There’s more to preparing your home than decorating the nursery, especially when it comes to boosting household electrical safety.
If you have a little one on the way, be sure to evaluate your home for electrical hazards and take steps now to address them before an accident can happen.
Change Your Perspective
You’re used to seeing your home from several feet in the air, but when your new baby starts crawling, they’ll see things from a dramatically different angle. From way down there, babies can get into trouble with outlets or wiring that you might not even know is there.
Before planning your baby-proofing strategy, it’s helpful to literally get on the floor and crawl around so that you can see things from your new baby’s perspective. Take a notepad with you so that you can record the location of every area of concern, and be sure to count the plugs and outlets in each room.
Cover Those Outlets
One of the busiest child-proofing tasks is filling in all those empty outlets so that children can’t stick things inside. And the hands-down easiest solution is to purchase removable outlet caps that are hard for tiny fingers to remove.
Of course, they can be a challenge for adults to remove, too. So if you’re open to making some modifications, you might consider replacing the outlets entirely with tamper-resistant versions that have built-in plug covers. This outlet style has been mandated in new construction since 2008, so you can expect newer homes to include them.
Another alternative to replacing entire outlets is to simply replace the face plates with versions that feature sliding outlet covers.
Then Cover the Cords
Outlet plugs can keep children safe when nothing is plugged in, but what about when you’re using the outlet? Some outlet covers are designed with this in mind, and feature a box that covers the entire outlet plate while allowing room for a plug. Cords feed through holes in one side, letting you keep electronics plugged in without making the outlet vulnerable. There are similar covers designed for power strips.
If you have cords running along walls or across floors, those need to be addressed as well. Babies and children can pull or chew on those cords, and they’re even a tripping hazard for adults. Use rubber or plastic strips called duct cord covers to conceal these cords under smooth humps that protect the cords and make walking safe.
To make sure all your bases are covered, consider contacting a trusted local electrician to conduct a full child safety electrical inspection of your home.