May 10, 2021

Children are naturally curious, and sometimes that curiosity can lead to some serious injuries. One way that can happen is with electricity, which is why it’s important to teach them about safety as early as four.

But how can you teach children about something they can’t see or touch? It isn’t the same as teaching them about fire or stranger danger. 

Here are some ways to educate children about electricity and practical ways to keep them safe.

1. Take them to a science museum for kids

A museum is a great place where kids can get a grasp of how electricity works in a safe and controlled way. There are displays where children can see a small electrical charge or they can turn on a switch. They can read about how electricity works and what not to do to avoid getting hurt. They can even learn about static electricity and experience the tingling sensation so they’ll understand better.

2. Read books about electricity to them

Get a book about electrical appliances that can be found in your home and show your kids so they can familiarise themselves with the ones you have. Explain what each one does and how to never use them without the presence and supervision of an adult.

3. Be firm about the dangers

Although having fun is a great way to learn, it’s important to be clear that electricity isn’t something that your children should ever play with. Make a list of rules in your home that they need to follow. An example list could be:

  1. Don’t touch sockets or electrical cords
  2. Ask a parent for help with electrical appliances
  3. Don’t touch any switches with wet hands
  4. Don’t fly kites or drones or climb trees near power lines
  5. Don’t retrieve balls or other toys near electrical substations. Call a parent or adult if this happens.

Let your kids repeat these rules often so you know they understand.

4. Create an Electrical Safety Ambassador badge

Children love prizes or any symbol of accomplishment. Print out an Electrical Safety Ambassador badge and award it to them if they can clearly explain what electricity is, how it works, and if they can repeat the rules of safety back to you. You can also take them around the house to assess how safe an area is by showing that sockets are covered, cords are out of the way, and what areas outside the house are off limits (where power lines and substations are.)

5. Set an example

Kids behave best if their parents set an example they can easily follow. Show them that you too are following the rules and are being extra careful around electricity. Take note however that this is a lesson best shown to older children, not toddlers.

6. Make your home safe

No matter how clear the rules may be, children cannot be trusted to always follow them. It’s best to take extra precautions around your home to keep it a safe environment.

  1. Put child-proof covers on all sockets
  2. Install RCDs or residual current devices to cut the power off in an emergency
  3. Arrange cords neatly and away from curious hands
  4. Keep electrical appliances out of children’s reach
  5. Hide electrical appliances that are in the bathroom and store them away from water sources
  6. Check for any damaged cords and replace them.

For a complete assessment of your home’s safety, it’s best to call in an electrician to do the checking and installing of safety electrical accessories. They can also reinforce your safety rules to the children as an extra precaution for them to follow. 

Contact Astley Electrical today to set an appointment.