Utilities and protecting children
By Tristan Anwyn
Did you know that every day as many as seven children go to the emergency room for injuries sustained touching an electrical wall outlet?
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, 70 percent of electrical accidents involving children occur at home while there is adult supervision. The onus is on parents to maintain a safe environment, and to educate their kids about the dangers of electricity and how to stay safe.
So what can you as a parent do to teach your kids about electrical safety? And what resources do utility companies offer to help you?
Teaching kids to respect electricity
Kids are fascinated by the world around them, and that includes electricity.
Teaching kids’ home safety is always important and never more so than when it comes to electrical safety - an electric shock can burn badly or even kill. Educating your kids today can keep them safe for the future.
A good starting point is to educate oneself about electricity.
Learn the basics - how it works, what causes electrical shocks, and how to practice electrical safety. Kids usually have plenty of questions. By being proactive and having good answers ready you'll be able to make learning about electricity a fun and engaging activity.
Learn more about utilities:
Take time to talk to your kids, using some of the resources listed below if you like. Ask them questions to check understanding, or ask them to draw you a picture. Use practical real life examples that they can relate to and make sure you keep your explanations age appropriate and easily to grasp.
Make sure they know the basics
When teaching your kids about electricity, it's vital to make sure they know these electrical safety basics:
· Don't insert anything into wall outlets;
· Don't use anything with frayed or exposed wires;
· Be mindful of trailing wires and keep cables away from heat sources;
· Keep drinks away from electrical appliances;
· Don't use electrical appliances in or near water or touch them with wet hands;
· Don't climb trees near power lines;
· Avoid downed power lines and poles;
· Never enter a substation or climb a utility pole;
· Keep kites and flying models away from power lines;
· Don't swim during a storm or when one is brewing.
You can also a foster a safe environment by using plug and outlet protectors, checking that the electrical equipment in your home is in good order, and teaching children to ask an adult for help when it comes to changing a light bulb or retrieving that stuck piece of toast from the toaster.
Make the most of utility company resources
Many utility companies provide free resources to help educate your children about electrical safety.
Try these four to start with:
· Dominon's - E-Smart Kids program offers an interactive website with plenty of kid-friendly resources and online games that teach everything from how electricity works to how to avoid electrical danger.
· Georgia Power- runs the Learning Power program, sending staff into schools to provide interactive and interesting lessons to students and tools for educators. Why not contact your local school and see if they are interested in offering this program?
· Southern Central Power Co - offers Just For Kids, a program with resources including online information and games, a free printable electrical safety activity book, and suggested lesson plans for teachers.
· PG&E's - Safe Kids program offers informational booklets, teacher's guides, and pre and post lesson tests that teachers can use to get feedback on students' understanding. These resources could also be used at home.
Electricity is a vital resource in society and very safe if used carefully. By providing fun and interactive lessons and making the most of the available resources, you can teach your kids to respect electricity and use it safely.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, career education, and SEO.
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