With cold weather here to stay until the spring, more and more households are getting out their electric heaters. Small heaters are a good way to provide extra heat to individual rooms without wasting energy on increasing the whole house's temperature. For households with small children, though, heaters can also pose a few risks. Toddlers and other young children may not fully understand the danger a heater can pose, resulting in minor but painful burns. If you have toddlers and heaters, here are a few tips to help eliminate the risk.
The first and most important step in protecting your children is to make sure that they understand the danger. Clearly explain to them that heaters can get very hot and that they should not touch them. Additionally, make sure children understand that toys, clothing and other objects aren't to be placed on top of heaters; these objects will heat up quickly -- toys, in particular, can really hurt young hands if they get hot. Children don't always heed adult instructions, as any parent knows, but a firm warning can definitely reduce the risk of an accident.
As a rule, a child should never be alone in a room with an electric heater. In fact, electric heaters should be switched off when an adult leaves the room, whether a child is present or not. This applies more to portable heaters than to a building's permanent heating system; it's almost impossible to avoid a child having unsupervised access to a wall-mounted heater at some point. Additional safety measures are necessary for this type of heater.
Portable heaters should have integral guards that prevent children from touching the heating element. If you're shopping for a portable heater, make sure that you choose one with this feature. For wall-mounted heaters, wooden or plastic screens can stop small hands from coming into contact with hot surfaces or children's toys from being placed on top of the heater. Most such guards can easily be removed when children are old enough not to need them.
Choose a Safe Heater
Preventing overheating is another important part of heater safety. Many modern electric heaters come with an automatic shutoff switch that turns off current to the heating element if the heater overbalances. Only purchase a new heater with this safety feature; if older heaters don't have a shutoff switch, consider replacing them. An overbalanced heater can not only cause burns to children, but also increases the risk of fire.
Place Heaters Carefully
Placing portable heaters so that children can't get to them is an important part of heater safety. High shelves or counters out of reach of toddlers can be a safe place, but be sure to test them first -- children can often reach higher than you expect.
Children have an irrepressible curiosity, often expressed by touching and grabbing unfamiliar objects. When heaters are on in the house, this can lead to accidents. By taking proper safety precautions, however, parents and carers can eliminate the risk of accidents and help to keep kids warm and safe through the winter.
Bio: These tips on keeping children safe around heaters have been provided on behalf of Economy Radiators who specialise in stylish but affordable electric heaters.