Toddlers at risk of lethal shock in 75% of Scottish homes


BABIES and toddlers are at risk of electrocution in three quarters of Scottish homes, it emerged today.

A study by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) found many new parents rely entirely on socket covers to keep youngsters safe.

Experts say socket covers are easily removed, allowing tots to poke objects or their fingers into the sockets.

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The simple switch that could save the lives of many toddlers.

The ESC is urging young families to save lives by installing special safety switches on fuseboxes.

The Residual Current Device (RCD) automatically cuts off the electricity supply in the event of an accident.

According to the ESC, these safety switches are only installed in 26% of new parents’ homes in Scotland.

10% of Scottish parents have also admitted using faulty plugs in the home and almost two-thirds confessed that they use electrical devices near water.

Despite this, over half of Scottish parents (58%) believe the measures they have taken to ensure that their home is safe to be adequate.

Phil Buckle, Director General of the Electrical Safety Council, said:  “We have found that new parents have a worrying lack of knowledge about electrical safety issues.

“We aim to raise awareness of the hazards in the home and the simple steps that parents can take to both ensure the safety of their family and pass on this knowledge to their children as they grow up.

“We are also appealing to product manufacturers and parenting advice outlets to offer parents key electrical safety advice, instead of offering socket covers as a ‘one stop’ solution.

“We are not saying parents shouldn’t have socket covers, but they must do more than that as these products could be removed by inquisitive children.

“The only way to be sure of protecting your children from the range of electrical dangers in the home is with RCD protection.”

Siobhan Freegard, the founder of Netmums parenting website said: “The annual toll from electrical accidents is terrible – and children are often most at risk.

“With families owning more and more gadgets, this risk grows greater every day.

“The arrival of a new baby is the time when parents are most likely to try to make their home a safe place for kids, so it’s worrying to see how few realise their homes may not be safe despite all their efforts.

“We are delighted to be the first organisation to pledge our support to the Electrical Safety Council to help educate young parents in electrical safety. Just a few simple changes around the home can give parents peace of mind.”

The tragic death of Glasgow toddler Liam Boyle highlighted the risk of electrocution at home.

He died in 2009 after inserting a plug with exposed wires, left behind by a workman, into a socket.

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