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Teach your children well about electrical safety

Article was added on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

We live our lives surrounded by it, but sometimes we forget just how dangerous electricity can be. Many home electrical fires, injuries and electrocutions can be prevented when we understand and practice electrical safety. This is especially true for our youngest co-op members. 

As your child's first and most important teacher, perhaps it's time to have a talk with your sons and daughters about electrical safety. 

Start at an early age, teaching them about the physical dangers associated with electrical components and how to handle electrical plugs, outlets, switches and other devices. Keep in mind, talking to your children about  electrical safety should also include fun activities and facts about the basics-what is electricity, the need to respect its power and how to use it efficiently as they study, work and play.

As we all know, kids will be kids. Getting them to show interest in some of these lessons won't be easy. Just remember that what your children learn from you today can be a lifesaver later when they encounter potential hazards like downed power lines in their path, play hide-and-seek behind
those big metal electrical boxes in the neighborhood or are tempted to clamber up a utility pole.
Gather your youngsters around the kitchen table or on the front porch- some of the best teachable moments about electrical safety can happen in and around your home. Look around.
There are plenty of opportunities to demonstrate safety that are as close as the electrical outlet on your living room wall. For example, show young children how plugs work, and let them know that even if they are curious about the slits of an electrical outlet, nothing else should be placed inside. Each year about 2,400 children end up in the emergency room after suffering injuries caused by inserting objects- paper clips, pens, screws, nails, forks, hair pins, coins and more-into electrical receptacles.

Our reliance on electronics and gadgets have left both youngsters and their parents at risk when they overcrowd electrical outlets, continue to use frayed wires, place devices near liquids or leave electronics on for long periods. Some of the guidelines Santee Electric offers to protect adults also help protect children. You'll find tips at our website, santee.org. Look under Children and Teens, then click on Electric Safety. The Electrical Safety Foundational International's website, esfi.org, also offers videos and interactive tools. Let's set good examples for our youngsters.

Floyd L. Keels
President and Chief Executive Officer

 


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