How to talk to your kids about electricity

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Electricity is everywhere, but it can also be extremely dangerous. Electric shocks can cause serious injuries, particularly in younger kids. Sometimes, these accidents happen because children don’t understand the danger electricity presents.

Children may take risks because they don’t understand the consequences of their behaviour. While they might understand that electricity is dangerous, this doesn’t always translate to their actions in the real world. It’s essential to speak to your kids and outline why rules need to be followed when interacting with electricity. Here a few ways to get the message across.

Understand their curiosity

As children grow up, they become more curious about the world around them, especially all the things that they don’t understand. While they might have a concept of what electricity is and understand the basics, this curiosity can often lead to playing with things around the house and exploring all the things they can touch. 

Implementing safety measures like socket covers can keep roaming hands and fingers away from powerboards and plugs, but explaining why they aren’t allowed to touch certain things in the house is essential too. 

Avoid exaggeration

When explaining these dangers, you don’t want to scare your children or exaggerate the risks of electricity. A more measured approach encourages caution and understanding.

Depending on their age, you may need to tailor this approach – electricity can be a lethal force, but kids won’t understand this. Explaining that the consequences of playing with electricity are very harmful can help kids to understand the risks in a simpler way.

Set ground rules together

Setting ground rules is an important tool for preventing disaster, but not all children are good at following rules, especially when they don’t understand the reasons for them. Setting rules without explaining their purpose can just encourage kids to break them, so you’ll need to give a fair explanation.

Without your child’s input, these rules may seem harsh and unreasonable, but working together by pointing out potential dangers around the house and explaining the risks will help your child to see you’re not trying to spoil their fun.

Get on their level

Children see the world around them in a different light. Because of this, hazards that may seem obvious to you, might not be for your kids. When checking play areas are safe from electrical danger, getting down to their level and looking around can help pick out any unseen risks.

If there are electrical risks around, like loose power cords and electrical equipment, you should always point these out and make sure they know to avoid them. Otherwise, remove these items and teach them how to spot hazards before they play.

Lead by example

Children look to you for guidance, particularly in unknown situations. When you practice caution around electricity, this shows kids how they should behave and makes them think about electrical danger. If children see their parents unplugging unused devices, carefully avoiding cords and being safe around water, they’re more likely to follow suit.

Teaching good behaviour around electricity is a slow process, and may need to be reinforced more than once, but a solid understanding can go a long way.

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