According to the National Institutes of Health, electricity causes approximately 1,000 deaths and 30,000 injuries in the United States each year, 20 percent of which involve children. Empower your family with electrical safety knowledge that can potentially save their lives. Always remember that electricity is everywhere, even when playing outdoors away from screens and other plug-in devices.
- Electrical substations may spark a child's imagination with high towers and sprawling gates, but make sure your children know never to enter one for any reason. An adult should call the electrical utility for help if a lost pet or toy enters one.
- Always assume that power lines are energized and dangerous. Inform children to stay away from downed or low-hanging power lines and ask them to tell an adult if they see one. The utility company will send a professional to assist.
- Children should never play with, climb on, or open pad-mount transformers or outdoor electrical "green" boxes. They contain electrical equipment for underground service to homes and businesses and may be dangerous. If children see a box that is open or damaged, they should stay away from it and tell an adult to contact the utility.
- While it may look like fun, never play on a flooded street or in a water-filled ditch. The water may hide fallen power lines or damaged electrical equipment, which could cause serious injury or death.
- Do not plan outdoor activities if a thunderstorm is expected. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed clap of thunder or lightning bolt to play outside.
- If enjoying the outdoors near water, such as a lake or pool, never use electronics with damp hands or while standing in water.
- Kites, balloons, and other flying devices, such as toy airplanes or drones, should only be used in large, open areas far away from power lines and electrical equipment.
For more information on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.
Transformer and balloons photos and article courtesy of SafeElectricity.org with modifications by Valley Rural Electric Cooperative.