If “back to school” means your children will be walking without you or coming home to an empty house for a few hours in the afternoons, remind them that electricity can be dangerous.
Here are six lessons that can save a child’s life:
- Assume all utility lines are energized and can injure or kill someone who touches them. Even if the line appears to belong to the cable or phone company, a child is unlikely to be sure. Advise your kids not to touch any kind of fallen line with their hands or feet, or with a toy or stick.
- Climbing trees is an activity best enjoyed when an adult is nearby to supervise. Still, caution your child not to climb a tree that is near an electrical power line — even if the line isn’t touching the tree.
- Likewise, remind your kids to fly kites and toy airplanes far away from power lines and substations, and to leave them where they land if they come into contact with a wire. Admonish them to abandon any toys that wind up inside a protected area around a transformer or substation.
- Insist that children stay away from transformer boxes, substations, transmission towers and all electrical equipment. Forbid them from climbing utility poles or entering a substation — no matter who dares them to ignore the “do not enter” sign and climb over the fence.
- Teach children of all ages how to read signs that say “danger,” “high voltage,” and “keep out” and make sure they know what they mean.
- Write down the electric cooperative’s telephone number for each of your children to keep with his or her schoolbooks or make sure it’s stored on his or her phone. Encourage your kids to call for help if they spot a downed wire or see another child dangerously close to a line or other potentially “live” equipment.