Child safety is a constant concern for parents, especially when it comes to the electrical outlets in the home. The most common form of protection is the outlet cover or inserts but those can be removed with ease, even by a child.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every year, an average of 2,400 children are injured from inserting household objects into plugs.
The best child-proofing mechanism for your home’s electrical outlets are tamper-resistant outlets. These outlets have an internal shutter mechanism that can prevent children from attempting to insert random objects into the outlet, like knives or paperclips. The only time the shutter lets up is when both slots receive equal pressure simultaneously, and that can usually only happen with a real plug. Hospitals have required tamper-resistant outlets for decades but it only just became a requirement in the 2008 National Electrical Code. So, if your house was wired before then — and it probably was — you might not have these outlets.
Learn about other child-proofing objects for your home’s electrical items.
Replacing your home’s outlets is a relatively painless endeavor. It involves unscrewing the one that’s in the wall, reattaching the wires to the new outlet, and screwing that one back in. However, we do recommend that you make use of a trained professional instead of doing it yourself.