Emergency rooms treat seven children for severe electrical burns every day, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI). Baby-proofing is not simple. Parents must cover exposed outlets and electrical wiring and keep all small parts and pieces off the floor. Here are some products that to get you started:
Desk Grommets and Cable Ties
Hard plastic or rubber grommets fit into desktops and tabletops to redirect electrical cords away from desk and furniture edges. Desk grommets are designed primarily to prevent fraying and damage to cords and wires. The same grommets, however, are an important asset for baby-proofing parents. Grommets keep electrical wires contained inside desks — away from the wall and floor (where infants and toddlers are likely to tug on them).
Similarly, groups or heavy electrical cables can be especially problematic. Inexpensive, nylon cable ties firmly secure wiring. Consumers can use cable ties to fasten cables up and out of the way, or even zip tie cabinets and doors as a temporary baby-proofing solution.
One of the most obvious baby-proofing steps is covering exposed plugs and outlets. Even so, many parents are doing it wrong — and risking the well-being of young children. According to The New York Times, most caregivers continue to use inefficient, lightweight plastic covers. The traditional plastic covers must be fitted into individual outlets and removed when consumers plug in chargers, electronics, or appliances. Colleen Driscoll, the executive director of the International Association for Child Safety, recommends using outlet covers with sliding doors or sliding locks instead. Consumers install outlet covers once, and slide open locked horizontal doors to use outlets.
New, stationary outlet covers with sliding doors are more convenient — and more practical. Moreover, parts never act as a choking hazards. Conversely, babies can choke on small plastic outlet covers if parents or siblings drop them on the floor.
Preparing your home for a new arrival is not easy. Babies can get into just about everything — and will — if you’re not careful. Make certain infants and toddlers stay safe using relatively inexpensive products, like furniture grommets, zip ties, and outlet covers with horizontally sliding doors.