electrical safety for kids

From the time we brew our first cup of coffee, to the time we kiss our kids goodnight and turn on the nightlight, our daily routines would look much different without the luxury of electricity. We’ve compiled some tips, tricks, and tools for teaching kids about electrical safety. 

It’s Never Too Early To Teach Electrical Safety

Kids love to explore and discover new things, so it’s never too early to teach your kids about electrical safety. Their natural curiosity may lead them to an electrical outlet down on their level, the whirring motor of a washing machine, or the bright picture on the television. It is important to connect with kids on their level, to get the conversation started.

Activity Pages

Activity or coloring pages are great for young kids who love hands-on projects. Word searches, mazes, and an age appropriate safety quiz add to the fun of learning something new, and get the conversation started.

Interactive Media

Websites and videos are great ways for kids to learn. Your local utility company may have a web portal designed specifically for kids to learn about electrical safety. Videos about electrical safety can be fun. These videos show other kids learning, or use animated characters to illustrate an important point.

Nothing takes the place of hands-on learning, but employing a few strategies to get your kids talking about electrical safety in your own home is a great place to start.

Hands-On Lessons

Children learn best when you engage all of their senses. Start a lesson about electrical safety with a family meeting. The family meeting lets your kids know the seriousness of the discussion. In a “family meeting”, everyone sits down at the dining room table or in the living room, together. There are no distractions allowed. This means everyone puts down their phones and talks to each other face to face to ensure there is engagement from the whole family, the whole time.

Explaining Electricity

Explain to your children what electricity is and how it works. Point out a power cord, the metal plugs on the end, and why a wire is made of rubber insulation. Consider buying an inexpensive cord you can cut into to show kids the inside of the cord – many kids love the hands-on experience of touching and feeling to really absorb this new information.

Once the wonderment abates, explain that the insides of the power cords must stay inside – electricity can hurt you if you touch it! Talk about how electricity travels from an electrical outlet and into the power cord. You could even shut off all of the lights in the room to demonstrate the tiny blue spark you might see as you plug and unplug a power cord. Kids would love to witness that firsthand!

Another important aspect of electrical safety is what to do in an emergency. Now would be a good time to teach your children how to call 911 in case of a medical emergency or fire.

Explaining Safety

Next, you must explain safety concerns. Show your kids the circuit breaker, and flip one of the switches to show them that the circuit breaker turns off electricity to an entire room. Walk outside and point out power lines, and your home’s electrical meter. Show the kids how a plastic safety plug prevents small children from putting fingers into electrical outlets. Explain why we avoid getting any water anywhere near wires or appliances. Writing out a brief list of “Electrical Rules” might be a great way to summarize all of the ways your family stays safe when dealing with electricity.

Assess Knowledge

Once you impart your knowledge of electrical safety, ask your children questions about what you just showed them. Walk back outside and ask them what a power line is. Ask them to explain what an electrical meter does, and how electricity travels from far away and into your home. Show your kids the circuit breaker again and ask them to explain in their own words what the device does. Point out a power outlet, and ask your child about safety near these outlets. You can then do the same with power cords, extension cords, and surge protectors.

Helpful and Harmful

Your kids don’t need to be afraid of electricity, they just need to know enough to stay safe. Show your children how electricity powers almost everything we use in our daily routines, so they become aware. Electricity lets us light our houses at night, play on the computer, watch television, and talk on the phone. Yet this important tool also comes with safety considerations and demands responsible usage.

At the end of the lesson, use positive reinforcement to make it stick. Kids love rewards. Take your family out to your favorite restaurant when you’re done, go see a movie together, or go for a walk in your favorite park. Post the activity or coloring pages on the refrigerator to proudly display what was learned that day.

Life is one big teachable moment. Make sure you teach your kids about electrical safety as soon as you can, because this seemingly minor lesson could someday save a life or prevent an accident from happening.

If you want to assure you and your kid’s safety when it comes on electrical issues, we can help you. Contact us now.