Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prime Directive: Prevent Child from Being Electrocuted

Some kids don't care about electrical outlets.  Aias is not one of those kids. From the time he could inch his body up to the wall, he was attempting to put everything inside those outlets, particularly cords or ropes.  He has a particular fascination with the hole for the ground.  His favorite thing to do is steal people's shoes and stick the shoe laces into that bottom hole: be still my heart.

Morgan has assured me again and again that as long as he doesn't stick something metal into both sides at once he will probably be fine.  I've never felt comforted by this.  Regardless of his odds of actually being electrocuted, we obviously don't want to encourage him to do this kind of thing.  About a year ago we purchased some Safety 1st Secure Press Plug Protectors that seemed like they'd work...

They didn't. At first I figured it could just be the specific outlets in our first apartment, but these proved to be a joke in three separate places.  In fact, Aias once went around the house, pulled them all out of the wall, collected them in a bucket and brought them to me.  Nice, very nice.  The little "button" in the middle there is supposed to be used to pop the cover out, but he's never even had to use it.  You don't even need to pry very hard to get those covers out.

He's 13 months old in the video below:

About two weeks ago we met a child who'd had a fascination with electrical sockets much like Aias, and sadly they had been electrocuted and suffered serious brain damage.  This lit a fire under our butts and we headed to Babies R Us to find a more "serious business" remedy for this little obsession.

At first we were going to purchase these Safety 1st Swivel Outlet Covers since we had already been given one and it was relatively easy to install:

Basically you swivel the openings to align with the actual socket when you want to use it.  The only problem with this was that Aias is interested in plugging AND unplugging cords.  There's nothing that would stop him from unplugging a cord from these.  We also read they can get jammed or stuck into the open or close position, which would defeat the whole purpose.

After a thorough search, we selected the following outlet covers and I feel like we did a great job.

Safety 1st Outlet Cover and Cord Shortener
These retail for $7.99 a piece at Babies R Us, which I know sounds expensive, but if you live in an apartment you probably don't need that many and you can only put these on completely exposed outlets anyhow (due to the size).  These require that you remove the entire old outlet cover, but it's really very easy to do. It took me about 1 minute to install.  The best thing about these is that you put the cover on when things are plugged in so your kid can't screw around with the socket at all, nor can they unplug whatever you have plugged in.  The only downside is that thicker cords aren't easily accommodated, such as our vacuum cleaner cord.  We don't consider this to be much of a turn off since the vacuum cleaner doesn't stay plugged in for any longer than it takes me to vacuum.

Challenge Accepted?

I thought for sure Aias would want to mess with these, but he actually only looked at it for about 10 seconds and hasn't bothered with it since.  He's really only interested in the holes on the electrical sockets and out of sight, out of mind I guess.  He would have to be incredibly strong and coordinated to unhook the cover as well; I'm not sure his hands are big enough.  It even takes me 15 seconds or so to get it off.

Safety 1st Deluxe Press-Fit Outlet Covers
Because the covers above don't fit on the outlets with the Test/Reset buttons, and the original pieces of junk above pop out of these outlets for some reason, we had to buy these ones as well. They are incredibly awesome, as they cost about $5 for 8 of them and they are VERY difficult to get off. In fact, Morgan put these on and I have no idea how to take them off. I tried about 10 minutes ago to take one off so I could plug in the computer, and I couldn't figure it out.  I'm locked out of my own outlets, heh. The only down side of these is that you have to take them out and then your kid could unplug whatever you have plugged in.

So that's that.  I feel like we have ourselves covered as far as protecting Aias from electrical sockets, at least for now.

Yes, that's a rice cooker. See what we are dealing with here?
By the way, I've not  been compensated in any way to write this entry.  The items we used just all happened to have been Safety 1st brand products. 

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