We talk with children about the importance of wearing seatbelts, eating healthy foods, and looking both ways before crossing the street — but do they know how to stay safe around electricity?
April’s Texas Co-op Power magazine will include PEC pages with child-focused electrical safety tips, a coloring sheet, and a safety pledge. Before you start getting questions, we have answers for staying safe around some of the most common electrical safety hazards. Read our reminders and discuss these with the children in your life.
Metal objects should never go inside the toaster
Remind children that metal is a conductor, which means electrical current can pass through it. If someone sticks a metal object — like a knife or fork — inside the toaster, electricity can travel from the toaster’s coils through the metal object and into their body. Remind children to ask for an adult’s help if something gets caught in the toaster.
Electricity and water don’t mix
Tell children they should never use electronics near water — it’s dangerous and could cause an electric shock. Keep chargers, hairdryers and hair straighteners, kitchen appliances, and all electronics far away from water. Adults need to check GFCI outlets monthly to ensure they’re working accurately.
Fly kites far away from power lines
Make sure children know it’s always best to fly kites with an adult. Choose a sunny day and make sure no storms are in sight. Lightning could strike the kite and travel to the person carrying it.
Let them know it’s important to never fly kites near power lines. Always choose a wide, open area far away from roads and power lines. Tell a child if the wind blows a kite near a power line, the person holding the string needs to let go.
Never touch power lines
Has a child asked you why a bird can land on a power line and not get hurt? You can tell them that birds on a wire are not touching the ground, so electricity can’t use them as a pathway. Instead, the current stays inside the wires, and the birds are safe. Emphasize that people should never touch electric wires.
Power down before unplugging
Setting rules for plugging and unplugging electronics is always a good idea. Teach older children how to safely unplug an electronic device: Always power down the item first, then pull from the plug – never from the cord.
Adults should check outlets for safety plug covers, as well as make sure electronics plug into outlets tightly and correctly.
Tell children to look for our child safety coloring page in April’s Texas Co-op Power magazine. Color the sheets and take it to a local PEC office for a prize!