As a childcare provider, should you or shouldn’t you use plug socket covers?

It one thing having members of staff who know what to do in a medical or first aid emergency, but a great deal of incidences in the early years setting may be avoided. It’s uncommon to find a nursery which allows staff to have hot drinks in the classroom and yet there are still many premises reluctant to remove plug socket covers…are they safer than leaving the plug open? Our understanding is that the British plug socket is designed to stop children injuring themselves and by using a plug socket cover, you may actually be increasing the risk to a child, by making the socket live…

Here’s what the authorities say…


Ofsted State“Ofsted neither recommends nor prohibits the use of socket covers; instead we look at how registered providers ensure their premises are as safe as possible for children. It is for the provider to decide as part of the risk assessment they carry out at their premises how best to protect children from dangers associated with electric sockets and appliances. Providers may wish to consult the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) and Child Accident Protection Trust websites for information to help them make a decision about the use of socket covers.”

The ROSPA advice can be found at: 

The Childcare Accident Protection Trust advice can be found at

Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.


Ruth Molyneux

Ofsted – National Business Unit

TEL: 0300 1231231

Department of Health

13A Electrical socket inserts (socket covers or protectors)

This Alert is issued to highlight how, in certain circumstances, the use of plastic 13A (13 amp) electrical socket inserts (sold as safety accessories) can overcome the safety features designed into socket outlets.

13A electrical socket inserts should not be used in health or social care premises, nor supplied for use in a home or residence. Any socket inserts currently in use should be withdrawn from use and responsibly disposed of.


ROSPA The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents states“RoSPA recommends that small children are warned to keep away from electrical equipment until they are capable of understanding the risks and are able to use it safely.

Modern 13-amp power sockets made to BS 1363:1995 incorporate a shutter mechanism, which prevent inappropriate access to the live connectors. RoSPA therefore does not consider it necessary to recommend the use of socket covers.

RoSPA actively discourages the use of decorated socket covers, which are attractive to young children.” more::


Child Accident Prevention Trust CAPT states “ Electric sockets are less dangerous than you might think. They’re designed to prevent toddlers (and anyone else) getting shocks, so they’re quite safe. You do not need socket covers to make them safe, but they might stop young children plugging in appliances that can cause a fire. However, it’s much safer to put appliances away rather than rely on socket covers.”


Our paediatric first aid courses for schools and nurseries focus on preventing incidents, rather than merely treating them…we have teams of medics running paediatric courses nationwide, all our courses include anaphylaxis and epipen training. To find out more, please contact us here: contact