One cannot dispute the fact that we live in the electromagnetic age. James Clerk Maxwell did not invent the stuff but he defined it via his equations. Physicists have set out their laws of thermodynamics and found the forces at work in our universe. Electricity powers much of our world in the 21C, especially if you live on the wealthier side of the planet. Children who can afford to possess electronic devices, like phones and computers, are spellbound by the dancing dots on their screens. Are there electrical risks for children? Well, that is a multilevel question with more than one answer.
Electricity is Safely Wrapped in Wires & Conduit
Electricity, when it is safely wrapped in wires and conduit, poses little risk for children who have no access to what lies beneath. Even something like a ceiling fan is usually above the reach of a child and its workings operate inside a casing. Children must be taught not to pry and leave well enough alone, when it comes to electrical engines and machines. Of course, with proper adult supervision a curious child may be introduced to the inner workings of electrical devices for educational purposes. Indeed, we positively encourage an interest in the STEM subjects today.
Exposure to Long-Term Low-Level Radiation
Electrical risks for children may exist beyond the direct shock of contact with current. Research continues into the effects of long-term exposure to low level electromagnetic radiation. Science has, however, found no case to answer so far. Parents worry about the effects of all that staring into screens by their children from phones to computers to TV. Will this have adverse consequences on the development and wellbeing of our children? Studies continue but nothing concrete has emerged as yet. We seem to prefer to gaze into a small screen than to look deeply into each other’s eyes and faces.
Perhaps, we are all evolving toward autism and will eventually relinquish our Theory of Mind? Human beings and our big brains are heading up a path never before taken. Our children will continue to live very different different lives to their ancestors. Electricity is a huge part of that divergence from what has gone before. We are all enamoured by the high-tech devices that we as a civilisation can create. The COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic has only strengthened our shift toward digital devices powered by electricity. Risks there may be but we are prepared to take them in the 21C.