Baby Safety Month: Electrical Hazards to Know

September is designated as Baby Safety Month, which was created by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) to raise awareness about items made for the wee ones.

Over the years, this focus has led to changes in toy safety, care seat safety, and much more to keep infants safe at home and on the go. In recognition of Baby Safety Month, we want to share some reminders related to our favorite topic: electricity.

Home Electrical Hazards for Babies

With a new baby at home, you’ve got a lot on your mind. You can remove a lot of worry by updating all of your safety devices so that you will simply be alerted when there is a problem.

Read our outlined safety tips for when and how to upgrade your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors here.

Next, you should walk around the entire house and any other rooms, such as a garage, that are attached to the house, to map out all electrical outlets. You need to do two things:

  1. Use outlet plugs for all unused outlets to prevent an electric shock if the baby crawls over and sticks their little finger in there. The low-to-the-ground proximity of most electrical outlets makes them an easy target for curious babies.
  2. Get outlet covers (also called outlet slides or boxes) for in-use electrical cords to keep babies from pulling them out.

All charging cords for phones, laptops, and other devices should be shortened or tucked away so that a baby cannot tug on it and put it in their mouth or even chew on it, which could cause a serious electric shock.

Tip: make sure these same cautions are taken wherever your baby spends time such as at a daycare, their grandparents home, or another home where they are in the care of someone else. Also check on protections when traveling with your baby in a new environment where outlet covers may not be in use.

Toys and Electrical Dangers for Little Ones

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that in 2020, of the estimated 198,000 toy-related injuries, 40% were sustained by children four years of age or younger. While electric burns or shocks did not make the top ten list of injury types, these can be legitimate concerns when selecting toys or similar products for baby use.

Experts warn against giving young children electric toys as they could cause burns.

Read more about how Tamper Resistant Receptables can make your babies safer at home.

There are also cautions for battery-operated toys:

  • Mixing different battery types can possibly cause leaks or overheating, which can lead to injury.
  • Battery chargers and adapters may post thermal burn hazards.
  • A battery-operated toy should not be taken to bed, or put in a crib, as a leaking battery can lead to burns or other injuries.
  • Don’t let adult battery-powered devices become baby toys; this includes remote controls, keyless-entry fobs, video game controls, and cell phones. The problem is that these are not made for babies and therefore the battery compartments are not child-resistant. A tiny lithium battery can be swallowed accidentally and cause an internal burn.

If a baby or young children—or even an adult—swallows a battery, call 911 immediately.

Beware of toys that have a heating element, such as toy oven, as these are generally recommended for children over the age of eight years old. The heating element can catch fire and cause injuries.

Stay Safe, Baby!

Babies grow and change quickly so it can be hard to stay on top of what they might get into next.

We’ve compiled this room-by-room safety checklist for families with young children so that baby safety and child safety can easily be addressed.

Visit the JPMA website’s section for parents, with lists of recalls, tips & tricks, and all kinds of safety advice to put your mind at ease as the baby in your life begins to explore their world.