Young children love two things, they like to touch whatever they can reach and they put whatever they touch in their mouths. That’s a dangerous combination when it comes to your power outlets. Every year, roughly 4,000 people end up in the emergency room because of injuries suffered from an accident with an electrical outlet, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of those 4,000 or so, somewhere between one-third to half of those injuries are to children. 

While you certainly don’t want to leave your kids unattended at home, there are ways to childproof your electrical outlets, so you don’t have to spend 24/7 hovering over your kids while they explore your home. The best practice when it comes to outlets are to have child-proof outlets, also called tamper-resistant receptacles, installed. 


What are child-proof outlets?


The tamper-resistant receptacles look just like ordinary outlets but are designed with spring-loaded receptacle cover plates that close off the receptacle openings or slots. When equal pressure is simultaneously applied to both sides, the outlet’s cover plates open to allow the standard plug to make contact with the receptacle contact points. 

However, if this simultaneous pressure is not applied, the cover plates will remain closed, which will prevent the insertion of fingers and foreign objects. This will help keep your kids safe from potentially painful, traumatic electrical injuries. 

The protective plugs weren’t used in homes regularly until recently but have been required in pediatric care facilities since the early 1980s. As of 2008, the National Electrical Code has required these outlets to be installed in all new home construction. 

Existing homes can be easily retrofitted with these more protective outlets using the same installation guidelines that apply to standard receptacles. However, tamper-resistant receptacles should only be installed by a licensed electrician. 


Benefits of tamper-resistant receptacles


For many with new kids, they tend to handle child-proofing electrical outlets by getting those plugs to put in them. Those can certainly work but aren’t as effective as these tamper-resistant receptacles. The caps can be lost, or even removed once the kids are a bit older. Those then also become choking hazards. Children can learn to defeat sliding receptacle covers after watching their parents use them. These tamper-resistant ones provide security against all of that. 

Not only that, but they’re an inexpensive option even if your home has an older style of electric outlet already. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the projected cost of these receptacles add about 50 cents to the cost of an unprotected outlet and based on current statistics, the average home has about 75 outlets, resulting in an overall added cost of less than $50. That can vary depending on the type and style of the receptacle, but really, there’s no price equal to that of ensuring your home is safe for your kids. 

Here at Simply Shocking Electric, your safety and satisfaction is our top priority. Our teams of master electricians are technically proficient and take pride in the quality of work they provide. Please contact us today with any questions, comments, concerns or to receive your free estimate over the phone at 503-309-0866 or email us at  We look forward to serving you.