4 safety tips for arts and crafts time

by | May 7, 2023 | Home and Living

Arts and crafts is the best part of the day for many children – and many children at heart. Yet, depending on the situation, that time can easily be marred by accidental cuts, skin irritations or even poisonings. Here are some tips to keep the creativity flowing while staying safe.

  1. Be prepared
    Before you start, it’s best to have an idea of the project you’ll tackle, what tools and techniques are required, and any safety tips to take. They might seem simple but understanding best practices, like how to hold small scissors or tie the right macrame knots, can limit mishaps, lower frustrations and prevent tiny tempers from rising.
  2. Check your ingredients
    Be sure to choose child-friendly activities and ingredients if you’re crafting with kids. Some chemicals like shellac, boric acid, craft dyes and powdered paints – often used in crafts like slime or for tie dying – shouldn’t be used around children who are more vulnerable to health risks. Pay special attention to ingredients when making homemade playthings like slime or playdough. For example, many do-it-yourself slime recipes call for boric acid, which should be avoided, since overexposure may affect development and reproduction.
  3. Choose the space wisely
    Set up your arts and crafts table in a well-ventilated area with an open window, fan or vent. This will help prevent the build-up of volatile organic compounds from paint, glue, markers and other materials, which can be harmful to small bodies. Keep an eye on children while doing arts and crafts. And place food and drink off the craft tables to minimize contamination, mix ups and accidental spills. Have a first aid kit accessible and ensure it’s well stocked before you begin.
  4. Clean up carefully
    As you tidy up your craft table when you’re finished for the day, be sure to store products in their original container. That way you can always check the instructions, ingredients and safety information. Be sure to keep any chemicals, small parts or other hazardous materials out of reach of children and pets. If you have anything to throw out, like paint or epoxy, check your municipal rules for hazardous waste. And finally, don’t forget to wash your hands.

Find more information about arts and crafts safety from Health Canada, canada.ca/healthy-home

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