Genius or Asking For Trouble?

100623_plug_wide I've been musing over a little parenting tip I came across for a few weeks now and I've decided to put it to a 'PlayPennies vote' to find out what you think.

One of the first pieces of safety advice you're given when your little baby becomes mobile, is to fit all plug sockets with safety covers so they can't poke thier curious fingers into the holes.

I've lost count how many of those covers I've bought over the years, I'm still finding them in the dark corners of various drawers.

This is all very easy to do in your own house but what do you do when you go to someone else's house, or go away on holiday?

Do you go armed with complete health and safety arsenal and checklist, so you can make wherever you 're going to conform to issued guidelines? Or, do you watch your little one(s) like a hawk and spend the entire time on alert? And what if you take your eyes off them at just the wrong time?

SO! You've gone away, or to someone elses house, and there they are, UNCOVERED plug sockets! You didn't go prepared for every danger scenario and you don't want to have to trail around after your child like a shadow.  What do you do?

How about sticking a plaster over offending plug sockets? It will certainly do the job of covering the holes and preventing little fingers from being poked in. BUT by doing this will it make the plug socket INSTANTLY more interesting and something worth investigating? Especially if you've only got Toy Story plasters to hand!

Genius? Or asking for trouble?

And then how about THIS for some food for thought - that using socket covers in the UK is actually creating danger!

I think the answer is this - there's no 'one size fits all' solution to these things. You know your child best and you must use your judgement, and whatever trusted information you can lay your hands on, to make a judgement on how best to keep them safe and whether ideas like this will work or just be like a red rag to inquisitive little minds.


  • debadwolff
    Don't bother. Bought those little critters for stopping my first child getting 'electrocuted' and he managed to pull one out and was happily chewing it... didn't bother with the next three children and all kids fine!
  • LynleyOram
    I bought a safety pack that had the covers in it, but never used them. I don't know why - partly because we don't have any sockets in the lounge that are easy or possible for a toddler to reach. So it wasn't so much of a concern. I think that there's a balancing act to follow here. You need to make it as safe as possible for them when it comes to things that will actually cause them harm, and are also LIKELY to cause them harm. But with other things. Well we just left the cover off the DVD player and the VHS player. I got one, and tried putting it on there but we were forever forgetting to replace it. To be honest, it was better in the long term to teach the baby not to put things in there even though it was a hassle for us AND we had to spend a lot of time fishing toys out of the VHS. But when we went to other people's houses, son didn't immediately make a beeline for unprotected electronic equipment and start attacking them. Which is what happened to friends of ours whose toddler did some irreparable damage to a relative's very experensive stereo.
  • Sarah K.
    I'm with you Lynley - people used to say to me, "Ohhh you'll need to move everything out of reach when they start moving around!" But how is that going to teach them anything? Other than to climb up on a homemade 'ladder' to get to the out-of-reach 'fun' stuff ;)
  • Emma K.
    I was thinking about buying plug covers for when my baby starts getting on the move, but this article has made me decide not to bother. I didn't know that about the shutters on all UK plugs, and my other half has just shown me how it works on one of the double adapters.
  • saf
    I brought a whole pack of saftey things.. coz that's what we're told we should do... but my son, now 26months, was easily able to pull them out. I kept having to tell him off for touching them. It didn't work. He's quite bright, and soon realised that plugging in things and pressing the buttons would let him switch the thing on. So eventually I gave up telling him off when he did it. I just showed him how he should plug something safely, so he doesn't get hurt. And that's how he does it now. Ill ask him to plug in the vacume or whatever else I need plugging in. With my second son, now 11months, I haven't got anything in any socket in the house. And he's not bothered even touching them. I recon they are more attracted tto them if u try to keep them away.

What do you think?

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