Do you really need those plastic socket covers? Can a child realistically get their fingers in there?

asked 10 Jun '10, 22:24

nickhiggs's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 11 Jun '10, 08:24

Rich%20Seller's gravatar image

Rich Seller


Answers to this earlier question could be interesting reading as well.

(11 Jun '10, 10:00) Emi

Are you just talking about sockets in the US? If so probably worth clarifying, as (eg) in the UK the sockets have more safety features built in. (It's still an interesting question if asked about UK sockets, so if you did mean to be international, it might also be worth saying that explicitly.)

(16 Jun '10, 20:49) Andy 1


Even if they cannot stick their fingers in the socket, they should could stick a knife, scissors, or some other metal element in them, and get a potentially fatal shock that way.

One source I found stated this:

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety commission, each year approximately 4,000 people find themselves in the emergency room seeking treatment for injuries caused by accidents involving electrical outlets. About a third to one-half of these patients are children who decided to stick some kind of metal object (like a paper clip or spoon handle) or their finger into the outlet.

Even then, at my local store, the socket covers are $2.50 for 50 covers, and it's worth it to spend the money for some peace of mind (until my eight-month-old son figures out how to get them off, as I am sure he will).


answered 10 Jun '10, 22:30

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
accept rate: 18%


In addition to the socket covers, I like to position furniture in front of the sockets. It make be more inconvenient for me, but it adds that extra degree of difficulty to my children as well.

(10 Jun '10, 23:50) mkcoehoorn

Even the more secure Euro-Sockets need additional covers. Little children are very ingenious when it comes to figuring out how to try something.

(11 Jun '10, 05:04) brandstaetter

+1 Really nice answer.

(11 Jun '10, 09:58) Emi

In addition to sticking a thin metal object (fork, metal toy, etc.) into the outlet, as others have noted, they can also get into quite a bit of trouble sticking actual electrical plugs into the outlet! I can think of at least two forms of extreme danger with this: (a) in the process of plugging in, they could accidentally (or purposely, not understanding how electricity works) end up touching the leads while they are "hot" but only partially plugged in and thus reachable by little fingers; or (b) they could correctly plug in some electrical device that is itself dangerous when powered (electric iron, power drill, etc.).


answered 15 Jun '10, 07:00

lgritz's gravatar image

accept rate: 14%

+1 A couple of great points I think many people don't consider.

(15 Jun '10, 12:37) Tammy ♦♦

Most modern plugs prevent contact with live pins. Even with small fingers. +1 for devices that are themselves dangerous. Not sure about power tools, I think most parents keep them away from the kids, but things like electric fires that can cause a fire if accidently turned on.

(16 Jun '10, 11:29) pipthegeek

I must not have "modern plugs", I guess. Re power tools -- many household electrical appliances seem inert and harmless when not plugged in, and thus may not be completely out of reach or secured. But if the kid unexpectedly plugs it in, it could be trouble. Examples: clothes iron, hair drier, hair curler, fan with fast blades, etc.

(16 Jun '10, 18:53) lgritz

+1 Igritz, how quickly small children can get into deep trouble in ways you'd never imagine is astounding.

(18 Jun '10, 04:48) Neen
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Asked: 10 Jun '10, 22:24

Seen: 32,846 times

Last updated: 15 Jun '10, 07:00