Keeping your kids engaged is no easy feat. Crafting gives them — and you — an outlet for creative self-expression. Arts and crafts help them meaningfully interpret the world around them.
Crafting is fun, but it isn’t always safe.
Statistically, about 13 million people get hurt in DIY accidents each year. No parent wants their child to be one of them.
That’s why taking proper precautionary measures as you set up and engage in craft time with your kiddos is important.
Here are 10 crafting safety tips for kids to keep everyone protected.
1. Prepare Your Crafts Carefully
Before you get your kids to start on craft time, prepare your crafts with care first. Having the proper tools can keep your children from getting hurt or potentially damaging your home. Consider buying some cutting mats to protect your tabletop from damage caused by the knife or cutter.
Child-friendly tools are essential.
Do not use anything broken, especially if it has sharp edges, wonky wiring, or anything that could poke or jab your kids. Avoid wearing watches, jewelry, and loose clothing during a project.
Even earring findings need to be handled with care since they can poke the skin.
2. Use Good Judgement
If something doesn’t seem kid-friendly, it probably isn’t.
Stay cautious while crafting with your son or daughter. Rushing kids through a craft can result in an accident, so you will want to make sure that they have enough time from start to finish.
And rushing just takes the fun out of crafting, anyways.
Minimize distractions before you begin — turn off the TV, and don’t attempt the craft if you aren’t feeling rested and well. If you lose your focus, an accident could happen more easily: You might slip with a double-ended knife and sustain an injury yourself just as easily as your child might have an accident.
3. Don’t Stray From the Instructions
Follow all instructions that come with the craft. Those instructions are there for a reason. Read the labels if you will use supplies such as glue, paint, inks, or cleaners.
The same logic applies to tools.
If something is sharp or dangerous in any way, you need to instruct your child on how to use it safely and help them as much as possible.
Never leave kids unattended with potentially hazardous crafting tools.
4. Maintain a Tidy Work Area
Keep your workspace nice and neat.
Organize everything: glue, paint, rulers, crayons, and markers, so your kids can easily find and use them. Remove any sharp pieces or scraps as you go along, and keep everything tidy as you work.
Make sure that your kids wash their hands regularly, especially if they get glue or other substances that they might transfer to their mouths.
And be sure to keep the floor clean and dry. Even a little spilled water or scrap of fabric on the floor can result in a slip-and-fall accident.
5. Be Cautious While Using Heat
If you are using heat for anything (such as a glue gun or the oven for curing clay), always exercise caution. You, not your kids, should control the heat. Even a few drops of hot glue on the hand can hurt a child.
If your child is old enough to start using a glue gun, let them practice with it before you even plug it in. That way, they know how to use it and feel comfortable holding it.
When they are done with it, make sure to rest the hot glue gun somewhere safe while it cools down. If it gets knocked over while it’s on, it could burn the surface of your furniture or start a fire.
6. Be Mindful of Toxic Materials
There are some substances used for crafting that can be toxic. Lead paint and superglue should be completely avoided, and you need to check the label of each substance before using it to ensure there is nothing in there that could harm your child.
Allergic reactions are possible. If your child starts sneezing, coughing, breaking out into hives, or showing other signs of a reaction, take them into a separate room to observe. If their condition worsens, take your child to the nearest emergency room or utilize a virtual healthcare service for treatment.
7. Wear the Necessary Protective Equipment
Another crafting safety tip for kids is to get them to wear protective gear as needed.
This is easier said than done, especially if you have toddlers.
But if there is a chance of stray particles or chemicals getting into your kid’s face, they should be wearing safety goggles. And you should, too. If you are using any loud items, such as power tools, everyone in the vicinity should be wearing ear protection.
8. Ventilate the Crafting Room Properly
Crafting rooms need ventilation.
Run a fan, or open some windows if needed. And be sure to vacuum after you are done to keep dirt, debris, and chemicals from getting into the flooring.
Sweeping can send toxic chemicals into the air, so vacuum instead. Empty the vacuum carefully when you’re done.
9. Be Careful With Electricity
This should go without saying, but many electrical accidents could be prevented with proper care. All power tools need to be properly grounded, unplugged after use, and stored out of reach of children.
Also, be careful about overloading multiplug adapters and extension cords. Overloading them can cause a fire. Extension cords need to be tucked away so that they don’t create a tripping hazard.
10. Anticipate Possible Accidents
One of the most important crafting safety tips for children is to always anticipate accidents. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
It’s important to have a plan in case an accident does happen. Keep a first aid kit handy, and have your cell phone with you in case you need to dial 911 or poison control.
Closing Thoughts on Crafting Safety Tips For Children
These crafting safety tips for kids can help prevent accidents. Pay attention, plan, and handle the hazardous stuff with care. Lead by example by handling things safely. You can have fun and be creative while still taking the proper precautions.
So, stock up on your must-have paper-cutting tools and go to town on your next creative endeavor with the kids.