You love your teenager despite their ego, but their lack of common sense can be overwhelming. It isn’t that they don’t make their bed or put their laundry in the basket. It’s more about the fact that they can’t get themselves fed or dressed without parental guidance.
Keeping them properly fed and clothed is part of the parenting process. Sadly, this can creep into adulthood. But one thing you may not have considered is the electrical hazards of teenagers.
Teenage electrical hazards do not mean that your teen uses up too much electricity. It is this overuse of electronic devices combined with their lack of common sense that presents problems.
Ten Electrical Hazards of Teenagers
1. Too Much:
It is not surprising that teenagers would be guilty of having too much stuff. When it comes to electronics, this can be a problem.
Too many heated hair tools may overload a circuit. Too many extension cords may present a fire hazard. Too many electronics can lead to power strips, extension cords, and probably other unthinkable measures to get enough power to one spot. If teenagers can think of it, they will probably try it…regardless of the danger.
2. Crimped and Frayed Cords:
The life of a teen is not spent worrying over whether or not setting a chair on a cord will result in the financial loss of the television. They don’t care if the cord gets crimped in the door. Crimped and frayed cords can create shorts that can cause fires.
One of the scariest things about teens is that they want to do things on their own. There are two reasons for this: pride and freedom. The pride is good, and there’s nothing wrong with having a self-sufficient teen. Freedom is another story. Sometimes teens do things themselves so they can get away with more. They’re sneaky and resourceful, and you may end up with wiring issues that cause all sorts of safety issues.
Any time there is silence, there’s likely danger if you have any age of child. With a teen, that means they’ve accomplished whatever they set out to do, so the hazard is already created. If you have a television room or your teen has an electronic station in their room, do periodic checks. There may be dangerous additions.
Also, silence can mean the hazard has already become a reality. Silence may indicate the state of worry the teen is in awaiting for his or her consequence.
You’ve probably heard of the internet challenges, such as the cinnamon challenge or the Tide pod challenge. Challenges by teens happen every day. Say there’s a light switch that shocks the person switching it. That means you need to call an electrician. That’s not what it means to the teen. Every friend who walks through will have to touch it. You will never know about the electrical danger it is entertaining your teen.
When I think of self-installation, electrical hazards, and teenagers, the first thing that comes to mind is switches and outlets. The teen who needs additional outlets may try to install it themselves. Maybe he or she wants a new switch plate…but they had to include the lighted switch. Wiring these things incorrectly can start fires, but it seems inconsequential, so even a responsible teen may try it.
You think your teen is smart enough not to blow dry hair in the bathtub. You think they are smart enough not to touch switches and outlets with bare hands. Trust me. They’re not smart enough. Eliminate avoidable hazards like this with GFCI outlets.
Growing and hormones…not a recipe for gracefulness. If there is a cord, a teen will trip on it. They may run into the wall and break an outlet. Pull strings on closet or basement lights may be broken. Light bulbs may be “accidentally” hit. Teenagers are the bulls in the china shop. They can’t help themselves.
9. Hidden Hazards:
A teenager’s life is top secret, and if you look in any nook or cranny in their room, you’ll find things that are better left not found. When it comes to electrical issues, you have to look. Look under carpets to see if your teen is stretching cords across the room. They may have extension cords or speakers wired to any number of places. There are cool led lighting options now that they may want to add, but it has to be done properly. This is where a parent must be observant.
If there is one thing that is comical about the electrical hazards of teenagers, it is the automobile. This can be pricey if your teen has a newer vehicle, but if they’re driving a jalopy, let them learn from their mistakes. Let the radio short out. Let their self-wired subwoofer stop working. This is part of the learning process…but make sure it isn’t a safety issue.
Teens are on their way to being smart, responsible, and able citizens, but they aren’t there yet. Knowing this is half the battle, and it gives parents an upper hand.