Written by Brooke Hanson
I decided to write this post to highlight the importance of a few things close to my heart.
One of the main things I am passionate about is electrical safety. For those of you who don’t know my story – that may sound like a strange thing to focus on, but my own experience has shaped the way that I approach not only electrical safety, but safety in the home in general.
In 2007, I was swimming in a swim spa – a small pool that produces a strong current to swim against – fulfilling my duties for my sponsors at the time.
Shortly after exiting the pool, I collapsed to the floor, having received a large electric shock – an event which subsequently brought an end to my swimming career.
I remember getting out of the swim spa and as my foot hit the deck I felt this electric current zapping my whole body. I just felt like I needed to get away from the spa as quickly as I could because the pain just wouldn’t stop. It seemed like forever, the vibrations and pain running through my muscles and nerves was so intense I thought it would never end. I couldn’t stop shaking and was aware of only one thing – I had to get away from the spa – but I couldn’t.
I passed out and when I came to I couldn’t open my eyes and had people rushing over to me, saying, “Brooke, did you trip over, did you fall out of the spa” and in my best voice, I said “no” and whispered “electric shock”.
Dad and Jared then rushed over and put me in the recovery position and I kept whispering to dad that I was so tired and just want to go to sleep. Dad was saying “listen to my voice, stay with us Brooke, you’re going to be OK”. It was so hard to stay focused on dad’s voice. I just wanted to let go, I thought I was going to die as I was so tired and just didn’t care anymore. I had to concentrate on Dad’s voice because I thought that if I didn’t I would fall asleep and never wake up.
My electric shock experience has had a huge influence on my home life and life in general. I am now incredibly aware of the dangers of electricity and the potential it has to devastate lives. This means my home is an electrical safe zone and making it a haven for my little boy, Cooper, is always high on my agenda.
I also had a pretty life changing experience as a child. When I was 5 years old, I was swimming in the family pool when I started struggling and nearly drowned as a result. Again, my father was on hand to bring me back around from what was an incredibly scary experience for all of us. In a funny way, though, that day shaped my life, as my parents were determined to make me safe around water and a strong swimmer.
So here are some tips and tricks for mums to use around the home to make sure that they keep their little ones safe.
I would recommend getting plug guards to stop your little ones from trying to squeeze their fingers and various objects into the holes. This offers me great peace of mind and stops me worrying about the multitude of things that Cooper could get up to otherwise.
It is also a great idea to keep electrical cables out of harms reach – so cable ties and covers are a good idea. In keep cables neat and tidy means little hands can’t pull down appliances from a work surface above – think kettle of boiling water!!
Test and tag electrical equipment
A regular check of your electrical equipment is a must! A frayed cable or dodgy connection and numerous other potential faults can cause electric shock and worse.
WATER AND SWIMMING SAFETY
At home, we are lucky enough to have a pool in the backyard and, as you might imagine, I’m keen to let my little boy, Cooper, experience how much fun being in the water and swimming can be. However, following my own ordeal as a little girl, I certainly have a lot of measures in place to ensure his safety.
Pool guards, safety rings and buoyancy aids
I would recommend to anyone with a pool that they fit it with pool guards, a pool cover and have safety rings and buoyancy aids on standby. It may sound a bit over the top, but it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.
I would also suggest that swimming lessons are a great idea – so whether that means unleashing the Olympic swimmer inside you or taking your kids to one of many swim schools around Australia – swimming lessons make a huge difference to confidence and safety around water.
Water temperature at home
That reminds me – not so much about swimming water, but water in general. Another great idea, which I have implemented in my own home, is to make sure that water temperature is turned down to 40 degrees or lower, to avoid any potential scalding.
I hope you enjoy my tips and tricks for keeping little ones safe around the home : ) Feel free to share this article with anyone who you think may find it useful.
Love, Brooke x