Portable Appliances and Children – Tips to Ensure Safety 

What on earth would we ever do without our beloved household appliances? We depend on various electronic implements in every room of the house to help sustain our comfort, nourishment, health and beauty. While many appliances stay put year round, several others are transferred from room to room, as they’re needed. And this portability certainly provides substantial convenience in today’s modern homes, but with it comes a greater amount of risk—especially in households with young children. 

Kids of all ages are notoriously curious beings who frequently explore and test the boundaries of their environment by touching, grabbing, twisting, pulling and pushing almost anything within reach (just ask any parent). Because of this natural trait, children are vulnerable to the potential dangers associated with some of the following commonplace portable appliances: 

·         Climate control – fans, space heaters, humidifiers

·         Cleaning and maintenance – vacuums, irons, sewing machines

·         Health and nourishment – air purifiers, water coolers 

And some of the risk factors that accompany these appliances include: 

·         Flow of electricity

·         Temperature sensitivity

·         Sharp components

·         Sheer weight of the appliance 

While potential dangers to children do exist, parents don’t necessarily have to sacrifice owning and using portable appliances, especially since they rely on many of them to help care for their kids. Below are some safety tips that, when followed, allow children and portable appliances to coexist safely under one roof. 

1.      Place portable appliances on stable, level surfaces and out of a child’s reach, if possible. If a portable appliance, like a window air conditioner or a microwave oven, becomes a semi-permanent fixture, ensure it’s securely installed and regularly inspect the condition of its stability.

2.      Keep all electrical units and cords away from high-traffic areas where children can easily bump into or trip over them.

3.      Practice the utmost care for all power cords to avoid a child’s contact with electricity:

a.      Ensure cords and plugs are in good condition, without any exposed or frayed wires, or bent/broken prongs—replace as needed

b.      Do not run cords under rugs or carpets—concealed damage often remains unrepaired, which increases the risk of a child encountering a hazard

c.       Be sure all plugs are fully inserted into wall sockets at all times

d.      Unless it’s absolutely necessary, do not connect portable appliance power cords to extension cords—fewer places of potential exposure to electricity means fewer chances children will come into contact with it

4.      Position all portable appliances and power cords a safe distance away from water sources—and if an appliance contains water, such as a humidifier or water cooler, be sure there is no chance the water can spill onto the power source. Always unplug the unit when transferring water to or from it.

5.      Maintain at least three feet distance between any flammable materials and hot-to-the-touch appliances, such as space heaters and irons. Be extra watchful for your child’s toys and blankets.

6.      As often as humanly possible, do not leave your child alone in a room with a portable appliance, unless it’s securely located out of reach. 

Portable appliances are vastly safe for use in most households, but they can prove dangerous when in use around unattended children. If parents teach their kids simple rules right away, and perform essential safety measures, children can explore the curiosities of their home safely, and every household member can stay comfortable, nourished, healthy and beautiful. 

What are some other safety tips you’re willing to share?   How have you adapted the placement and usage of your portable appliances to ensure your young ones are safe from the threat of harm?  Please send your comments to pat@tasco-safety.com, and we will feature an article with your tips. 


Thank you, James, for this informative article.  To start off on the comments, I would say that curling irons left plugged in are very tempting to little hands. Hope we hear from some others who will add to our list. Pat