Electrical Safety for Kids: Essential Tips to Offer Your Community of Customers

electrical safety for kids

Electricity is powering the future. As the energy transition continues to move forward, everything from home appliances to power tools and vehicles are being electrified. This electrification is only going to accelerate in the coming decades. 

As analog devices gradually disappear from our daily lives and are replaced with high tech digital tools, we will utilize more and more of the electrical outlets and power supplies throughout our homes. With this kind of power coursing through our walls, it’s becoming increasingly important that we teach solid lessons surrounding electrical safety for kids.

Electricity makes our modern lives possible, but it can also be incredibly dangerous when used improperly. Teaching electrical safety for kids from an early age is the best way to ensure the safety of our families and properties. Working on these lessons at home is incredibly valuable, but reinforcing these lessons helps make them stick, which is why teaching those lessons in school is important too. 

What Is Electrical Safety?

At its core, electrical safety is simply about preventing injury or property damage while using electrical devices or when around electric power lines. That is the goal. However, there are a lot of parts that go into comprehensive electrical safety education. Here are a few electrical safety topics every child should be familiar with in order to stay safe.

How Electricity Works

The key to using anything safely sits squarely in a solid understanding of how it works. In electrical safety instruction, this includes teaching students the basics of how electricity flows into our homes and the potential dangers it can present. 

Through this knowledge, children understand the dangers of mixing electricity and water. They understand that if they put a foreign object into an outlet, electricity will travel through the object and into their bodies. The more they know about how electricity works, the better equipped they will be in avoiding the potential dangers that go along with it.

Safe Operation of Electrical Equipment

Nearly all of us use electrical equipment on a daily or near daily basis. Understanding how to use it safely will prevent the vast majority of safety incidents. Lessons on electrical safety for kids should include information on things like outlet safety, proper use of electronic devices and the possible dangers of using electricity around water.

A popular electrical safety lesson for kids in the past was the dangers of flying kites near power lines, but with the expansion of personal flying devices and individual drone ownership, this lesson has expanded to include these modern devices. It is just another example of how expanding technology is expanding the need to teach electrical safety for kids. Drones can be incredibly fun ways and no doubt can capture dramatic footage, but that fun can end quickly if your drone encounters an overhead power line. From drones to e-bikes, learning to operate twenty-first century toys safely prevents damage to people and property.

How to Cut Power Supplies

Knowing how to shut off a power supply at the source can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters around the world, along with outlets that are becoming increasingly overloaded with devices that draw a lot of power are only exacerbating the need to teach children this simple safety step. Once students are tall enough to reach the circuit breaker, knowing how to cut power to a zone or the entire building can be critically important information. 

Reporting of Downed Power Lines or Malfunctioning Equipment

It’s not every day that we encounter downed power lines, malfunctioning transformers, or other dangerous sources of electricity, but it’s becoming more common in response to increasingly volatile weather patterns that often lead to prolonged power outages. That is why it is so important for children to know what to do if they find themselves in those situations. They should also know that anything that could pose a serious risk to people or property should immediately be reported to authorities by calling 911.

When Is the Best Time to Teach a Child Electrical Safety?

As soon as children begin expressing interest in exploring the world around them, it is wise to teach them about electrical safety. When children become mobile, they will inspect every nook and cranny of their environments, including the electrical outlets and other electrical hazards for children that are often located well within their reach. Waiting until a child puts something into an unprotected outlet is not the best way to teach electrical safety lessons.

Importance of Electrical Safety Education

Electrical safety education is all about protection. Teaching students to engage in safe practices to protect themselves, property, and the environment is fundamental. Let’s look more closely at each of these important reasons.

Protecting the Self from Danger

The first item may seem fairly obvious, but it’s worth reiterating. Electricity can cause serious damage to the human body, including burns, seizures, irregular heartbeats, and even cardiac arrest. These are all serious injuries that could lead to lifelong troubles and even death. Learning to use electrical devices and power sources properly keeps us physically safe, and in some cases, keeps us alive. 

Protecting Property

Another reason teaching electrical safety for kids is so critically important is that improper use can cause property damage ranging from expensive fixes to total loss of a home or business. In a worst case scenario, this can lead to injury or death. Practicing proper electrical safety habits is one of the best ways to ensure places are safe to live and work.

Energy Sustainability

Electricity plays an important and ever evolving role in our lives. The clean energy revolution is incredibly reliant on electricity, which means that the products and jobs of the future will require a more extensive knowledge of electrical operation and safety principles than ever before. It also means we must learn to become more conscientious about our energy consumption to ensure we have enough to power all our devices. 

The lessons we teach youth about electrical safety today can ease the transition to these new technologies, prepare young people to fill growing high tech jobs, and help ensure energy sustainability for the future.

electrical safety for students

The Role Schools Play in Electrical Safety Education 

Not all children have equal access to educational opportunities. The great equalizer is often local educational institutions. For those students without access to proper electrical safety instruction at home, schools can bridge the gap in promoting safe practices. Students can also be advocates in their homes for electrical safety, helping adults adopt better safety practices too.

The role of schools in electrical safety education is further emphasized through student interaction with peers. Parents can and should teach these lessons at home, but interacting with friends when learning new lessons offers students a way to better absorb and digest information, knowing that they are doing so as a group.

Tips on Electrical Safety for Kids

Practicing electrical safety is about preventing electrical shocks and the possible results, including burns, fires, and other damage to persons or property. The lessons learned through electrical safety education ensures students know how to protect themselves and others from a young age. Let’s look at some electrical safety tips educators can use to help provide students with the basic information they need to use electricity safely.

Outlet Safety

Children often interact with outlets as soon as they are able to crawl. Outlets are usually placed within their reach, so teaching them how to use them safely will keep them from getting hurt. Lessons should cover:

  • Never place anything but an electrical plug into outlets
  • Never pull a plug out of the outlet by the cord. Always grip the plug itself
  • Keep plugged-in devices off of soft or flammable materials, such as beds, upholstered furniture, etc.
  • Power switches on surge protectors and power strips not only cut power in an emergency, but can also contribute to energy sustainability by stopping plugged-in electronics from drawing phantom power

Water Safety

Children also need to understand the possible consequences of mixing electricity and water. That mixture is a recipe for disaster, and it is not always immediately obvious to young people how the two could inadvertently mix.

  • Never use plugged-in electronics near open water
  • Never touch a plugged-in electronic device while you are wet
  • GFCI outlets help protect us in rooms prone to moisture, such as bathrooms and pool areas

Power Line Safety

Many communities now run power lines under the ground, but for millions of children, their power is still supplied by overhead power lines. Learning to respect the power that runs through them is an important lesson in electrical safety for kids.

  • When playing outside, avoid overhead power lines when climbing trees, flying kites, or engaging in any activity that might put you in close proximity to the lines
  • Stay far away from downed power lines. If you see one, tell an adult and have them call for help.
  • If you are in an incapacitated vehicle with downed power lines nearby, never get out of the vehicle. Stay inside, call for help, and wait for that help to arrive

How to Teach Electrical Safety for Students?

The best way to teach new lessons may be through fun and interactive activities that stimulate young minds and keep them interested. Teaching lessons on electrical safety for kids is no exception. Here are some fun and informative activities to get your list started.

Live Theatre Performances

Children learn well through edutainment activities. Edutainment activities combine education and entertainment, and have been shown to deliver important information that will stick with students longer. Combining important educational messaging with live theatre is a proven method that helps students retain information.

Through live theatre, students share a memorable experience with their peers that is both fun and informative. Theatre also delivers this information through a narrative, rather than just facts and figures. This helps leverage story-based learning techniques, which makes the information stick more in the human brain. Education outreach programs that specialize in teaching through theatre can be powerful resources for teaching students about electrical safety.

Sponsoring live, educational theatre performances in schools provides access to important learning to underserved communities, and offers opportunities that go far beyond just talking to kids about electricity.

Interactive Livestreams

Digital learning platforms have wide-spread use in schools throughout the country. They offer opportunities for flexible education delivery, but making those learning experiences memorable and meaningful for students can be a challenge. Interactive livestreams can allow for both flexible delivery and memorable experiences for students in much the same way as live theatre.

Interactive livestreams transform the world of educational videos into fully immersive activities. Students are able to not only learn the lessons contained therein, but are also given the opportunity to interact, ask questions and get clarification on points that may be giving them trouble.

Interactive Games and Video Games

Children have been learning through play for millennia. In fact, this is one of the first ways we learn important lessons about how the world works. As we grow and evolve, so too should the games we use to supplement our educational goals.

Interactive games that are age appropriate allow students to have fun and learn at the same time. They can also provide that shared experience that is a powerful learning tool. This can help reinforce lessons and help students retain important information longer. Learning through games is an excellent way to teach lessons that students will gladly talk about in their free time.

Science Museum Visits

If you live in an area with a science museum nearby, a field trip is a great way to enhance lessons about electricity. Science museums take great care in curating exhibits that are both fun and informative, and that teach complex lessons about how natural and human made systems operate. 

Children’s museums are uniquely equipped to teach lessons on electrical safety for kids. Lessons are often taught in developmentally appropriate terms, making them accessible to students of all ages. 

Putting Together Your Lesson Plan

As the world becomes more and more electrified, today’s youth will need a solid education on electrical operation and safety principles for a smooth transition in the future. It is incredibly important that we find fun and meaningful ways to deliver that information so students engage in the lessons and retain the information for a lifetime.

NTC offers live theater performances, interactive livestreams, and a range of other edutainment activities that teach electrical safety for kids, brought directly to local schools and other community organizations. If you would like to sponsor a program in your service community, reach out to learn more about our turnkey education outreach programs.

Electrical Safety for Kids: Essential Tips to Offer Your Community of Customers