Parents & Families

Parents - keep your children safe from electricity

Preparing for the arrival of a first child can be a stressful time for parents.

Around two thirds of parents will carry out electrical DIY in the home as part of the preparation. However, they often do so without taking the necessary safety precautions and as children grow they can also be exposed to all sorts of hazards.

There are a few simple steps that you can take to ensure the safety of your children and the whole family.

Keep your children safe around electricity

  • Don't rely on socket blanking plugs for your child's safety. Regular sockets are generally safe and socket covers will not prevent electric shock if the installation is not safe.
  • A recognised way to protect you from a fatal electric shock and reduce the risk of fire is to have RCD protection, either in the fusebox or as a plug-in.
  • Keep appliance cords out of the reach of children, especially those connected to hot items such as kettles, irons, hair straighteners or hairdryers.
  • Never leave an unconnected charging cable plugged in and switched on (for example, a mobile phone charger). Young children may be tempted to put the end of the cable in their mouths.
  • Don't leave appliances like washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers running during the night or when you are out. If you do need to run them overnight make sure you have working smoke detectors. For additional protection consider supplying these items via an RCD. 
  • Appliances should be switched off when not in use.
  • After a bath or shower, you should make sure your children are dried off thoroughly before they go anywhere near electrical things like games consoles – water and electricity can be deadly.
  • Keep drinks away from TVs, DVD players, stereos, speakers, computers, games consoles and anything else electrical.

In the garden

There are many potential electrical hazards in the garden. For example, lawn mowers and hedge cutters can cut through their own electric cables, causing a risk of electric shock. It’s important to be vigilant at all times, especially if young children are nearby.

If you are working with electrical equipment in the garden, always use an RCD.

Button Batteries

Button batteries look like a coin. They can badly hurt or kill a small child if they swallow one. 

Two button batteries next to a 5p coin.

  • Look out for toys, lights, remote controls with button batteries in your home.
  • Check for products with loose backs and button batteries that may have fallen out.
  • Store button batteries out of reach of children in a safe place.
  • Dispose of used button batteries as soon as you can.
  • If you think your child may have swallowed a button battery, go to A&E or call an ambulance.

For more information and safety advice, visit the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) website.

Socket Blanking Plugs

We don’t promote the use of socket blanking plugs as we don’t consider normal household sockets a serious risk to children.

These sockets have built in safety shutters to prevent access to the live parts inside. However, we understand that using these plugs may give parents and carers additional peace of mind. It’s your choice.

To view our policy statement click here.