Protecting Your Electrical Outlets

Childproofing seems to be a never ending task. Thankfully, we have been able to avoid having to baby proof the kitchen and bathroom (the kitchen is gated off and we keep the bathroom door shut), but we have done the rest of the so called ‘right’ things in our house.

One particularly difficult area we had was an electrical outlet near our television. Due to someone’s poor planning when the house was built, the corner in the living room that is perfect for a television is also four feet away from an electrical outlet. This wasn’t particularly a problem before Nick was born, but of course an extension cord is like crack to babies. My wife and I looked at outlet covers at a dozen stores, and we managed to figure out something that worked for us.

The solution was twofold. First, we covered the outlet with this ingenious little item: Safety First Outlet Cover

This outlet cover has a base plate that is screwed onto the outlet once you remove the existing outlet cover. You plug your cords into it, and then the outer cover clips into place. Not only can Nick no longer stick anything into the outlet, but he can’t unplug the TV either. The hole at the bottom for the cord to pass through is a little small; I had to make it bigger to fit my power bar cord through, but it works great. The cover is really difficult to get off, it’s a two handed job for Dad.

Then, to deal with the cord, I used the Wiremold Cord Cover sold at the Home Depot. This stuff sticks to the wall with adhesive tape, and a cord slides inside of it. There are all kinds of inside and outside corners available, as well as 90 degree bends. I ran the cover straight down from the outlet to just above the baseboard, then used a 90, and then ran the cover along the baseboard behind the TV cabinet. It works great. Our trim is white, so it looks fine, but I believe the packaging said it was paintable as well. Amazon has photos and information here.

The rest of the outlets I covered with what I thought was the best product on the market. I had read that the little plastic push in outlet covers were dangerous because kids can pull them out and choke on them. I found the Mommy’s Helper safe plate. This design has a spring loaded cover that slides left and right over the outlet. In order to plug something in, you insert the blades, then slide to the right, then push the plug in the rest of the way. When you remove the plug, the covers automatically slide back to make it safe. The springs are surprisingly strong, so I don’t think Nick could push them over AND stick something in. Mommy’s Helper Safe Plate

So, that’s my electrical baby proofing story. I’d love to hear from some of you out there regarding what you did for electrical safety in your house.
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