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I bought a pack of the socket inserts about four months ago when they were on offer at my local hardware store. I have been using the products for several years now, the main reason being they were always around the house when I was younger and I am so used to seeing them that I now cannot look at an open socket and must have something covering it. I think it looks a lot neater to have the exposed socket covered up, and I feel that it is safer for my cat and my niece to have any potential hazards masked.
The sockets came in a pack of six, and their design is very simple. They are round, white in colour and slightly smaller than the socket frame. They have one flat edge, and on the other side is three plastic prongs that fit into the socket much like the plug on any household appliance. The aim of the gadget is to put a non-conductive object into the socket in order to prevent anything that is not an appliance you want to use (fingers, for example) from entering instead and causing damage. The inserts are ideal in shape, and simply push into the socket like a plug, offering minimal resistance as the action is performed. You push the insert into the socket so that the prongs disappear and leave the flat, white disk covering it. Once in place, the sockets are secure and will not fall out unless you pull them. They require a bit of tugging to remove, and this may not be easy for children, which is ideal as it will dissuade them from pulling the device free.
Being simple in design and a neutral colour, the sockets will fit into any design scheme. They are also inconspicuous against the usual white colour of the tile in which the socket lies. I paid £1.69 for a packet of six of the inserts, but they are available online from the following sources:
£1.99 from icbaby.com
£1.99 from truebornkids.co.uk
£1.99 from discountbabyequip.co.uk
The simplicity of the inserts belie their effectiveness. They are discreet, easy to use and will bring peace of mind to those with children. The inserts are also very durable, and the prongs are fixed well into position, and do not feel as though they are prone to snap off. A great product, and highly recommended.
I moved into a new home when my son was fifteen months old and as we were in temporary accommodation for five months and spend time planning how to keep my son safe once we finally got our home. Prior to moving I bought a pack of safety first socket inserts. These cost me about £2 for six.
The socket inserts are white plastic circles with three prongs that replicate a general purpose plug. These are simply inserted into the socket and the idea is that it prevents little one's either prodding fingers or other items into the socket.
Once in our home some safety equipments was used immediately die to the fact my son was walking and able to get where he wanted to but I didn't put the socket inserts up as my son showed no interest in sockets.
I got them out when a friend whose daughter is a few weeks older than may son seemed to be making a beeline for the sockets. The sockets were as simple to insert as a normal plug however due to the flat base much harder to remove. They are very light and the colour does blend in with the sockets been white. The plastic does seem quite sturdy and these have no sharp edges so should a little one get hold of one then they shouldn't injure themselves. Once my friends daughter saw these been inserted she went and found another activity to occupy herself however this was not the case for my son. Once he noticed these covers for reasons I am not able to explain he suddenly developed an interest in them and despite been about 18 months old was able to remove the covers in seconds so was actually more of a hazard than no cover.
I since discovered that my son at other locations when a socket is covered it attract his attention and without he carries on playing happily.
I do think these can be a valuable addition to providing a safe environment for your child and has certainly worked for other friends but this is not an item that was helpful for my son. I would advise if you have a child who is obsessed with Sockets and too young to understand no then they are worth buying. I have found these on EBay for £1.75 for a pack of six plus postage
To understand why the Safety 1st socket insert is a bad product you first need to know a little about plugs and sockets. The type we use in the UK dates back to 1947, one of the main reasons for its introduction was to protect children. This is achieved by means of automatic safety shutters which prevent anything being put into the live contacts when a plug is not inserted. The socket holes are designed to be too small for even baby sized fingers, the shutters are there to stop pins and keys etc being pushed in. Even a plug has to be inserted a long way before it makes contact, take a look at a plug and you will see that only the ends of the pins are metal, and they are not allowed to make contact until all of the metal part has been pushed into the socket, that gives you some idea of how deep you have to push something in before you get a shock, it is certainly impossible to do it with any part of the body!
The Safety 1st packet says the insert: "Prevents young children from playing with electric sockets", it is hard to know exactly what they mean by that, it clearly does not prevent a child touching the socket, or playing with the switch. The socket itself protects from inserting objects - a cover is completely unnecessary. The Safety 1st packet makes no claims that it meets any standards, or how they are tested for safety, but as there are no relevant standards that is in itself not surprising. By comparison, plugs and sockets have to meet very rigorous safety standards, and must be tested by an independent body and proved completely safe. The law insists on that. As soon as you put a Safety 1st socket insert into a socket you are replacing the proven safety of the socket with the untested cover, that's not a very clever thing to do!
To be legal, a plug must conform to very strict requirements on shape and size. Sockets are designed to work properly with those plugs, and the only thing which should ever be put into a socket is a real plug, or something with exactly the same dimensions. The Safety 1st socket insert is the only socket cover I have tested where the dimensions of the plastic pins actually meet the specification (although the size of the cover plate provides less than half of the safety margin provided by a plug). However, the Safety 1st socket insert is equipped with finger grips which make it easy to remove for babies and adults alike.
Once in the hands of a baby or toddler the Safety 1st socket insert becomes a toy, and the most natural thing to do with it is experiment with how it can be put back into the socket. After all, babies love toys which involve trying to put plastic objects into different shaped holes, it is one of the things we encourage them to do as soon as they can hold and manipulate objects. It is sufficiently flexible to be easy to insert upside down, into just the top (earth) hole of the socket, and once put there it will not fall out even though it cannot go all the way in. In most sockets that causes the safety shutter to open allowing other objects to be inserted into the live contact!!! This is what it is supposed to prevent. The shutters can, of course, be operated by other small objects, but the only thing which stay in place by itself is something the same size as an earth pin, other objects will fall back out when let go. We know that babies can use one hand very effectively, but they cannot usually coordinate the use of both hands until a much later stage, so are extremely unlikely to attempt to poke two different articles into a socket at the same time.
The bottom line is that UK sockets are designed to be child safe, are fully regulated, and have been thoroughly tested. Socket covers diminish that safety.
Google: FatallyFlawed.org.uk to learn more, including videos.
I can always remember my mum warning me when I was a child that I wasn't to put my fingers in the plug sockets unless I wanted to get frazzled, it was never something that actually appealed to me and not something I ever tried but I grew up with the image of me complete with Albert Einstein hair do and the thought that my mum was a little over protective sometimes. Of course now I'm a mum myself and I realise the poor woman wasn't totally crazy having developed a very real fear that my own children would try the plug socket trick for themselves and on occasion I have found Christopher eyeing them with interest, so as part of the toddler proofing process our house acquired some Safety 1st Socket Inserts.
Safety 1st Socket Inserts are small plastic ovals with 3 prongs that match a UK 3 pin plug, they are designed to be plugged into your plug sockets, covering any plug holes and their immediate surrounding area. The inserts have 2 small lip sections at the top and bottom just big enough for an adult to get a grip of in order to remove the inserts from the socket, they are too small though for the less nimble fingers of a toddler, making them a very parent friendly safety device.
The packs come in sets of 6 and 12 which is great when you consider the amount of plug sockets you're likely to have around your home, available from places like Mothercare and Toys R Us they are affordable, starting from £1.99, and essential items. They stand up well to the general wear and tear of being plugged in and removed constantly, many of the inserts may be permanent features, for example in a childs room where no electrical items are required, many will also be temporary and find themselves removed in order to plug in the Hoover or any other electrical item, before being plugged back in again once the item is finished with, they also fit perfectly in extension leads and are ideal if not all the sockets on a multi socket extension are being used, just plug a few of these in and there's no risk of fingers or any dust and dirt getting into the socket.
Because of their small size they are great to keep as spares, tucked away in a drawer ready for the day when one finally gets stepped on by daddies work boot and squashed or is mislaid in the process of cleaning the house and needs to be quickly replaced. Being made of plastic means that they are easy to keep clean, although I'd recommend taking them out of the socket before trying to wash of any sticky finger prints!
Overall I can highly recommend this product, they're a great safety device which provides reassurance to parents of inquisitive toddlers and prevents any unnecessary Einstein like hair moments.
Electric sockets are the bane of every parent's life. What is it that makes little Johnny want to stick his fingers in the holes? What is it that makes little Johnny want to stick all his toys in the holes? And I know that little Johnny is only copying mummy when he tries to plug the vacuum cleaner in (heck he won't be doing that in years to come) but it's simply not safe!
I'm a firm believer in children learning right from wrong and being told not to do something rather than removing that temptation from their environment but there are some things that just aren't worth the risk and so it's socket covers all round for us!
One would think that a socket cover would be a relatively mundane item and one into which little or no thought need be given. As a parent you'll probably agree that this isn't the case. The shape and design of the socket covers will determine how easy it is for little Johnny (and Mum/Dad) to remove the same, and trust me, they'll try!
I've got a couple of types of cover, my mum and sister have yet more types so I've become a bit of an expert in what I like and dislike about these things. My favourite type of cover and, luckily, the type I have most of were manufactured by Safety 1st.
These oval-shaped inserts plug into the sockets effectively jamming up the socket so that nothing else can go in. They appear durable and have stood up to many removals and replacements not all of which are on target (generally cos I'm looking elsewhere at the time!).
The thing that marks these out from some of the other brands though is their ease of removal as a parent whilst still making it hard for the child. The socket covers have two small sections, one at the top of the oval, the other at the bottom, where the plug doesn't quite meet the socket. This provides for two lips that allow for easy removal. However, for a child the lips are too far apart for their little fingers and pulling on one alone (if they find it) will not be sufficient to remove the plug. There's nothing else about the cover that a child could use to pull the cover off making this about as parent friendly and child-proof a cover as I have found. They certainly compare favourably to the Clippasafe and Baby Dan covers, both of which have knob-shaped bits that a child can use to pull the plug out. They're also much easier to remove as a parent than the Boots, Mothercare and Tomee Tippee covers that sit very flush to the sockets.
Expect to pay around £2.50 for a pack of 6 covers which, you'll have to admit, is a small price to pay for your child's safety. Just remember, even the sockets you think are inaccessible won't be for very long - I'm sure babies have x-ray vision and super strength just for when you're not looking!
Prevent electric shocks. Prevent inquisitive kids from getting electrical shocks. Easy for adults to use but difficult for small fingers!