Teaching Your Child about Electricity
Your electrician just visited the house and now your children are curious. Who was that guy and what was he doing? Why did the lights and TV turn off and on while he was working? Your children are interested in what was happening and you now have the perfect opportunity to talk to them about electricity and electrical safety.
Talking about Indoor Electricity
Talking to your child about electricity doesn’t have to be difficult and you can certainly modify your conversation based on your child’s age and level of understanding. The simpler you keep the concepts, the easier they will be for your child to clearly comprehend.
Start by talking about electricity and water. Make sure your child understands that he should never touch electrical appliances, including lights, while he is wet – especially while he is getting in or out of the bathtub.
Another important point, regardless of age, is safety around electrical outlets. Children should understand that outlets should not be touched, whether with fingers or other objects. Let your child know that he should always ask a parent or other adult for help if something needs to be plugged in or moved.
Young children may have a difficult time understanding electrocution and why you can’t put an electrical fire out with water. It is safer to teach them to simply get out of the house and call and adult or 9-1-1 if there is a fire.
Discussing Outdoor Electricity
The outside world is vast and full of incredible objects your child may want to explore. Start pointing out dangerous items – like electrical poles, fences, and power lines – at an early age. Make sure your child understands that he can’t climb electrical poles and that he should never, ever touch wires located outside.
While thunderstorms can be interesting to see, make sure your child understands that he should get inside if he sees lightning, even if it isn’t raining. He should also understand the importance of getting out of a swimming pool (or any body of water) during a storm.
Your conversations about electricity don’t need to be complicated. Take one point at a time, as it becomes relevant, and your child will gradually begin to understand the dangers associated with electricity over time. Not sure what to say? Ask your local licensed electrician to help the next time he’s working around your house!