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Electrical Safety for Kids

Teaching Your Kids Electrical Safety

Children are curious. It’s a great trait and helps them learn about the world around them. But curiosity can become dangerous when it involves electricity. It is up to the adults in their lives to keep them safe and teach them about electricity.

Different ages need different information. You need to present the information in age-appropriate ways and always model safe behaviour around electricity. When babies and toddlers, it’s up to the adults to keep an eye out and to limit their exposure to risky situations. You don’t want your teething baby gnawing on an electrical cord. As they get older, you can start introducing more complex information. An important fact you should always start with is even though you can’t see electricity, you need to be aware of it because it is dangerous. If this seems overwhelming, remember the best way to teach your kids is to model good, safe behaviour. Children are always watching and copying the adults in their lives.

Why is electricity so dangerous? Well, electricity always finds the quickest way to the ground. This is dangerous for humans because our bodies are excellent conductors of electricity making us an excellent path for electricity to take. Please remember no shock is a safe shock. Always seek medical attention because what can seem like a little shock can have serious consequences. Electrical shocks can have a range of symptoms from headaches and spasms to major burns, loss of vision and/or hearing to death.

To help you keep your loved ones safe, here are some things you can do and teach your children:

Electrical Safety Tips


Outlets are a great temptation for curious children. So:

  • Teach your children to never stick anything into an outlet (other than a plug).
  • Plastic outlet caps are a great deterrent, but tamper resistant outlets are better because they have built-in shutters behind the cover to keep foreign objects out.
  • In a pinch, creative arrangements of furniture can work to keep your child away from the problem.
  • When old enough, show your child how to properly unplug a device using the hand grip above the prongs.
  • Always replace broken or missing outlet covers.

Extension Cords

  • Extension cords are a common sight in most homes and have their own set of safety tips.
  • Explain to your children that cords are not toys.
  • Keep cords away from heat.
  • Don’t plug multiple appliances into one cord. You could overload your system and cause sparks, even a fire. As amazing as the Red Deer emergency services department is, you don’t want a visit from them.
  • Throw out and replace frayed cords.
  • Using electrical tape on frayed cords won’t save you or your child from getting a nasty shock.
  • Extension cords are also great trip hazards, so keep them safely out of the way and properly secure them (for example, tape them to the floor).
  • Use a hide-a-cord device.

Kitchen & Bathrooms

  • Special consideration needs to be made with kitchens and bathrooms because of the close proximity of water to electricity.
  • Teach your children that water and electricity do not mix.
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI), the outlet with the reset button, in your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry rooms. GFCI outlets stop supplying power if they sense a problem, such as overheating or moisture.
  • Store your electric appliances (hair dryers, mixers, toasters etc.) where your little ones can’t get their hands on them.
  • Don’t use your phone or tablet in the tub or with wet hands, you’ll end up with more than a ruined device if you drop it in the water.
  • Keep metal objects out of your toaster and microwave.
  • Never turn on an appliance and leave it unattended around kids.


When outside, there are different sources for electricity. So here are things to add to your electrical safety list:
  • Make sure the extension cords—and christmas lights—you are using outside are designed for outdoor use.
  • Keep electrical equipment away from water features (pools, hot tubs, fountains).
  • Safely store all lawn equipment and electric tools where your children can’t get them.
  • Never fly kites or play with balloons around power lines.
  • Don’t climb power poles.
  • Never touch or climb trees near power lines.
  • Don’t build treehouses near power lines.
  • Stay away from broken or downed power lines.
  • Never touch big transformer boxes.
  • During thunderstorms, get inside quickly, stay away from puddles, don’t go swimming, don’t take shelter under a tree or umbrella. Lightning will strike the highest point in the area which could be the tree or umbrella you are standing under.
  • Teach your kids to recognize and obey warning signs. Obey the signs yourself.


  • Teach your child how to call 911 and make sure they know your address and phone number.
  • Don’t use water on an electrical fire. Use a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
  • When your children are old enough, show them where your fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
The bottom line is it’s up to you to keep the children in your life safe and to teach them about electrical safety. The best way to teach them is for you to act safely around electricity. Kids are very much “do as you do, not do as you say”.
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