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Turning Your Spare Room Into A Nursery? Don't Forget These Electrical Upgrades

by Wade Black

Is it time to turn that spare room into a nursery? When you're picking out paint colors and deciding on decor, you also need to put electrical upgrades on the list. Talk to your electrical contractor about the following additions to your baby's room.

USB Outlets

Everything electronic has a USB charger these days, but those bulky adapters can hog your outlet space. Upgrading your old outlets into newer models that have built-in charging ports can make it easier to accommodate basics that you need for the baby's room, like monitors and white noise machines. It's also smart planning for the future—down the line, you'll need room to charge all of the electronics that your child is likely to collect. Everything from digital toys to digital readers can be plugged in more easily with a USB port that feeds directly into a source of power.

Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

Whether you add USB outlets or not, you need to make sure that the electrical receptacles in your baby's room are outfitted with tamper-resistant shutters. To a small child, those ordinary electrical outlets look a lot like hungry little faces, waiting to be fed anything that can be fit into them. Around 2,400 children each year suffer from shocks and burns after sticking items into non-shuttered outlets and as many as a dozen of those children die. Shuttered outlets only open if they're pressed simultaneously (like when you plug something into the outlet).

Extra Outlets

While it sounds simple, extra outlets can make your baby's room safer. Many older homes were designed with only a couple of outlets per room, back in the day with the only electrical items in a room were usually a couple of lamps. Today, the need for extra outlets can cause you to rely on extension cords—which are a huge hazard for your baby. Once your baby starts walking, extension cords can turn into tripping hazards. Even a crawling infant can end up tugging on an extension cord, inadvertently pulling whatever is attached to it down on his or her head.

Outlet Covers

Finally, you also need to keep your baby from pulling cords out of outlets. There are a variety of possible covers that you can get—clear plastic ones make it easy to see what is plugged in where, but solid plastic ones make it less interesting for you baby to examine. Talk to you contractor to see what he or she recommends. You want something that will be reasonably easy for you to remove but difficult for your baby to knock off by accident.

For more suggestions about how to update the electricity in your baby's room, especially with an eye toward accommodating your child's future needs as he or she grows, talk to an electrical contractor today.