By Ombajo G Vincent
From the depths of every passing generation, children are the perfect illumination of our souls. They are not only the most treasured beings in the hearts of men but also the hands by which we get hold of heaven. Suffice to say then that anything that risks the life of children needs to be addressed in t
the most informed of all manners. Electrical dangers tend to harm children at the place where their safety should be ultimately guaranteed…at home.
However, there is no danger that is as easy to handle as those posed by electrical systems. That’s not to say that accidents don’t happen, but rather a call to shift our attention to accident prevention because electrical safety is fundamental.
Keeping our homes safe with regards to electrical hazards is a must. Electricity has availed to people sparks of every conceivable progress and yet its safety, especially at homes, has been given the slimmest of attention. The reason for this is that people are strangers to electrical danger. Rather than being safety minded, they are safety blinded. So how exactly do we move the safety of our children to a point of certainty?
It all starts with us
The adults who handle electrical gadgets at home ought to realize that children learn by imitation. Whatever they see adults do is considered the best practice by them even if it leads them to actual danger. And it’s not about barking orders and conditions to them, it’s about showing them what to do. Children have never been good listeners, but they never fail to imitate. Therefore, knowledge on electrical safety must be of fundamental interest to parents.
There are basics about electrical safety of which children should be made aware. First, that electricity has the power to cause burns, shocks and of course death. The equipment, gadgets and wires are just as dangerous as electrical power lines hence the need for appropriate safety precautions. Besides, because electric current flows through water, it can also flow through the body. Remember, the human body is composed of 70% water. What then can children do to avoid electrocution or shock?
Children should never stick their fingers or any object into any electrical outlet or light bulb socket. They should also keep their fingers and objects away from home appliances like iron boxes, water heaters and so on even if they are off. And because electricity has a formidable love affair with water, no electrical appliance should ever be used near a sink, bathtub or any water source. Of greater emphasis is to always keep electrical wires and connections from any form of external heat.
While their hands have water, children should never touch any electrical appliance or equipment including light switches, even if they are insulated. To be taken seriously is the act of just pulling plugs by their wires without first turning off the mains. This should never happen because impatience has never equaled death and a little care causes no pain. Because there is always need to clean electrical gadgets, it should be done while the appliances are unplugged. Remember unplugging is not the same as switching off. Children must avoid any wire or device that is worn out. In fact, such devices carry lots of electrical hazards.
While outdoors, children must avoid climbing trees or poles that are near power lines. It is common knowledge that children like playing by throwing things into the air. Such acts can be dangerous especially when they get entangled with power lines as it can travel through strings and harm them or cause a fire. Because of their curiosity, children may want to pull things that are stuck on power lines.
Talking to adults or any older person whenever they notice such is the safest approach, and quick action must be taken to kill their curiosity. Utility poles must never be climbed while also keeping far away from power substations. When they see a fallen electric wire, they should be warned against touching them. Besides, they should never touch anything or anyone that is touching a wire that has fallen. Throwing of objects at the electric wires must be totally avoided.
These precautions deserve a team effort from the children and their caregivers. Whether the fault is caused by an adult or a child, the magnitude of the danger and its subsequent effect could be detrimental to all. As we all know, accidents hurt but safety doesn’t. Everywhere at home let safety be known because a bad wire can cause fire and a faulty wire can be dire.