Electricity can be a shocking experience — literally. Little ones don’t understand that electricity’s a hazard unless you teach that important lesson. Even a toddler can learn about the danger of electricity. With the right amount of information, laced with stern instructions, your tot should develop a deep respect for electricity and anything with a cord.
Teach From the Beginning
It’s really never too early to begin teaching kids about electricity. From the first time a baby reaches for an electrical cord to the time when your little one starts toddling around the house, teach her about the danger of electricity. When she stretches out her fingers toward an outlet or thinks about chewing on a lamp cord, tell her, “No, no. That’s hot. You’ll get a bad burn. Ouch!” Redirect her attention somewhere else to help her forget about that fascinating electrical cord.
Electricity and Fires
A little one isn’t ready for a lengthy explanation of electricity. Instead, try a simple comparison of electricity to fire. When you point to outlets and say “hot” or “fire,” she’ll get the idea that electricity is a no-no that might burn her. When she’s a little older, you can get more technical so she understands more details about electricity.
Electricity and Water
The combination of electricity and water can be deadly, so it’s imperative that a little one never have the opportunity to make this connection. Begin teaching a tot never to use anything electrical around water, including the bathtub, sinks and even puddles on the floor. She may not understand why, but insist and teach that all electrical devices get unplugged in the bathroom and the kitchen to minimize serious accidents and injuries.
Childproof Your Home
Toddlers are inquisitive and unpredictable, so protecting them from themselves is a high priority. You never know what dangerous idea might occur to your tot, so childproof your home thoroughly to eliminate these possibilities. Outlet covers are an obvious safety measure, but electrical childproofing should go much further than this.
Cover all outlets with plugs leading into them to prevent a little one from unplugging cords.
Secure cords safely with special “cord keepers” to prevent a youngster from chewing or playing with the cords. Supervise a toddler continuously while she’s up and about to make sure she doesn’t get into electrical mischief that could hurt her. Never let your guard down.
Even though you warn a little one about electricity, she may decide to experiment with plugging the blow-dryer in, just like she’s seen Mommy do.