In Case You Missed It, We Talked Kids Pocket Knives Last Week!
For those of you who haven’t had the chance to read last week’s post, here it is if you wanna have a read. In summary, last week’s post goes over 4 things you should consider before buying your child a pocket knife, and then a review/recommendation of the best 5 available today.
Today’s post is a little different. The overarching theme is child safety. What are the 5 things I can do to promote my child’s safety around knives? What are the 5 things I mustn’t do? If you’re reading this post, you’re most likely a parent or guardian (this is my assumption, at least) doing the best to look out for your kid. And for this, I commend you. Before we get started on the do’s and don’ts, i’d like to leave you with one of my favorite safety quotes:
“Prepare And Prevent, Don’t Repair And Repent” – Unknown
It should be noted, the list of do’s and don’t presented in this post is not exhaustive. Add to this list as you require, and make safety a habit. My personal recommendation is to go through this list with your child, and reference it every so often so you don’t forget.
Ensure You Do These 5 Things!
When talking pocket knife safety for kids, these are the 5 do’s every single parent/guardian should try to follow. What’s awesome about these 5 “rules” is that they’re simple and easy to do, so you really should have no excuses.
#1 Lead By Example
What do I mean lead by example? Allow me to explain. Ever heard the saying practice what you preach? If you have, that’s what i’m alluding to here.
Preaching to your child about safety is meaningless if you yourself don’t live and breathe those values. Safety starts with you.
So what’s the action here? Simple. In attempting to teach your kid about knife safety, teach yourself first (more about this below). Once you’ve learned the ropes, put it into practice every single minute of every single day. Whether you’re using a knife to prep food in the kitchen, or using a pocket knife to whittle or carve, complete the task in as safe a manner as possible. If you expect your child to use a knife safely, then consider that they expect the same of you. It’s a 2 way street!
#2 Take The Time To Learn
Take the time to learn, and educate yourself and your child about knife safety. Assume nothing and remain open minded.
In the subject of knife safety, ignorance is not bliss! Learn it, practice it, and take it very seriously.
There’s thousands of awesome resources and videos that talk about knife safety, so I won’t go into much detail here. Here’s one of my favorite videos that I find myself referring to every couple months. The best part about it: it’s easy to understand and therefore child friendly. Watch with your child, and make them take notes throughout the video. Watching the video alone is not enough. Give them a quiz at the end of it, and ask them to repeat the safety tips back to you. Quizzing your child can be a fun and interactive way to understanding how much they’ve assimilated!
#3 Try Out Your Child’s Knife First, Before Giving It To Him/Her
Seems kinda obvious doesn’t it? Even still, it’s something that gets ignored by most parents. We’re too busy doing our own thing that we sometimes forget about the small things that truly matter.
Take 30 minutes out of your busy day and spend that time demoing the knife your child will eventually use.
If it’s a multi-tool, you want to get a good understanding of how everything works. Some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Is The Open/Close Mechanism Child Friendly? Not all pocket knives have an open/close mechanism suited for a young child. Most are extremely difficult to pry open, and shut close. Identifying this early will help you resolve the issue. And how do you resolve this? Pretty easy. Break the knife in by opening and closing several times!
- How Sharp Is The Knife? Never hand your child a pocket knife without first testing how sharp the edge is. Important: Don’t be fooled by looks. An edge to your eyes may appear blunt and harmless, but in reality it’s not. A quick and easy way to test for sharpness is to slice through paper. A sharp knife will slice clean through, whereas a dull knife will cut rough and choppy.
- Overall, Is The Device A Good Fit For My Child? This is a personal question which only you as the parent/guardian will be able to answer. Each kid is different from the other.
To conclude, familiarize yourself with the knife before gifting it to your child. Doing this will come in handy for the next point!
#4 Supervise, Supervise, Supervise!
When talking about pocket knife safety for kids, this fourth do is probably the most important out of all 5. Supervising your child when he/she uses a pocket knife is beneficial for several reasons:
- They Learn To Do It The Right Way In #3 I asked you to demo your child’s knife before giving it to them. If you did this, then you’d be having a good idea of how everything works. This works perfectly because now you can teach your kid the right way (what to do, what not do do)!
- You Get To Bond! Don’t underestimate this one. The best memories (for a child and parent) are formed by partaking in engaging, collaborative activities. Examples I remember as an adolescent: The time my dad taught me how to drive stick, or being instructed by mum on how to make my first scrambled egg. My point is….enjoy the experience with your child and use it to bond!
- Point Out Their Mistakes And Encourage Them When They Improve! Supervision allows you to identify mistakes, and ensure your child corrects them accordingly. By doing things this way, you basically minimize the possibility of your child getting cut/injured. Be sure to encourage and motivate them also!
#5 Read The Darn Instruction Manual/Leaflet, Seriously!!
Loads and loads of parents will scour the web to find information on pocket knife safety for kids, but if only they bothered to look right in front of their noses.
Please oh please read the darn instruction manual for pete’s sake!
There’s many times I don’t bother reading instruction manuals, but this would be the one exception. Believe it or not, instruction leaflets provide answers to some of the most common questions, so really it should be the first thing you read. Once you’re done reading, ensure you keep the instruction manual and warranty documentation safely stored some place you won’t forget. The last thing you’d want it is to misplace this information!
Ensure You Don’t Do These 5 Things!
We talked about the 5 things you should do, now let’s talk about the 5 you shouldn’t!
#1 Don’t Give In To Their Tantrums. It’s Okay To Say NO!
When it comes to pocket knives, most parents cave in to their kids demands and tantrums.
Don’t be like most parents. If you feel your child is not ready, don’t be afraid to say no.
You’re probably wondering “How do I know if my child is ready to own a knife?”. I’m here to tell you that the only people who can answer this question are you and your spouse. There is no “magic age” that tells you…..aha now’s the time! Have honest and open discussions with your spouse and be observant of your child’s behaviors (especially around knives!). This will help you gauge whether he/she is ready.
#2 Never Ever Let Them Carry A Pocket Knife To School
This is huge. In our 10 do’s and don’ts concerning pocket knife safety for kids, this is one of the most important.
Ever heard the proverb out of sight, out of mind? Yup, we definitely don’t want that happening here!
It saddens me to tell you this, but the frequency of school deaths involving guns and knives have increased significantly over the years. I was reading an article the other day which told the tragic story of how a 15 year old boy was stabbed to death by his classmate. I will refrain from going into details because that’s not the point here. The point and the bigger picture which many seem to be missing is this: all children deserve to be in a safe and respectful environment where they can learn, and share their awesomeness with the world!
#3 Don’t Bother With Counterfeits (AKA Stop Being A Cheapskate)
If you think purchasing a cheap Chinese knock off Swiss Army is a good idea, you’re dead wrong.
While Counterfeits and knock offs may only cost a fraction of the original, the quality on most of these is appalling.
What would you rather have? Something that costs $5 and lasts for about a couple months, or something that costs $20-25 and lasts a decade? Another benefit with buying the original is your product is guaranteed (Swiss Army has a lifetime warranty) and covered for any defects in workmanship and materials. The way I see it, this is a no-brainer!
#4 If The Tip Ain’t Round Ended, Don’t Buy!
What the heck am I talking about? You should only consider buying pocket knives that have a rounded tip at the end of the blade. This is especially important for an inexperienced child first starting out with knives. Tips that are round drastically minimize the potential of getting injured from stabbing or thrusting. Yes you do lose an element of sharpness, but the trade off is a much safer knife for your child!
There’s an exception to this: If your child is able to demonstrate he/she can safely and responsibly use a knife, then and only then should you relax the requirement of a round ended tip. Again, better safe than sorry!
#5 Don’t Forget To Have Fun!
Sometimes it pays to chill out and relax for a minute. Appreciate the fact that your child is growing up, and enjoy sharing new experiences with him/her.
Being safe and responsible doesn’t have to mean being lame and boring.
And the best part is you can make it as fun and memorable as you want it to be. All you have to do is put some effort into it. Immerse yourself and take just as much interest in it as your kid does. Learn and make mistakes with them, for these are the memories you both will cherish in future years. Make it special and never forget to have fun!
Don’t Stop Here, Keep Going!
Safety never ends, and neither should you. I’ll repeat: this list is not exhaustive by any means. Feel free to add to it your own do’s and don’ts, and continue to refer back as required. Alright, that’s all I have to say about pocket knife safety for kids. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. As always, if you enjoyed reading this post or got some value out of it, a share would be hugely appreciated!
Featured Image Source: It’s Getting Stabby In Here By Rob Briscoe CC BY 2.0