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Parent's Issues With Scissors


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I have had an email today from a parent who is concerned that another child whilst using scissors had tried to cut her daughters finger. Luckly another member of staff had been involved and had checked the child's hands where there were no marks and the child was not distressed by the incident. The parent is now questioning the level of supervision in the nursery and suggesting that we should not have scissors unless children are supervised.

 

The children are aged 3 and 4 and have independent access to child scissors as part of our technology area how would you explain to this parent that children, although they are generally supervised are allowed to play and explore independently and use scissors as part of their creativity? without adults Any help greatly appreciated? how can I reassure her that the children are safe but that sometimes these things happen and it is part of learning?

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Have you done continuous provision planning and a risk assessment for your technology area? Perhaps it is worth showing the parent this risk/benefit information so that she can see the reasoning behind your setting doing things the way you do? Also in reassuring her of all the measures you take to ensure children are taught how to use scissors safely, and how you reinforce the safety message at every session? Whilst you may not have an adult at the workstation every minute, I'm sure the children aren't exactly unsupervised whilst they are there, are they?

 

Often I shake my head and tut a bit when parents say this kind of thing, until I remember that most parents don't have the training and knowledge we do, and that scissors can be very scary for parents because they see all the dangers and few of the benefits. Sometimes it does feel that we're educating the parents as much as the children, but I think it is vital that we help parents to understand why we do things as much as telling them what we do!

 

Good luck!

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Hi JoJo was the parent there when the incident occurred. Did they see something that the staff didn't.

Although the aim is for all children to become independant learners there are certain pieces of equipment that do require some adult input.

The children have to be advised as to the rules during the use of scissors within your provision.

Once children have shown to the adults their understanding of the rules then they can be left totally unsupervised.

As we have children between the ages of 2.5 to 5 years of age we always have adult supervision whilst they are out.

As for the parent i think you have answered your own question, children do need to explore, take risks, make decisions, but as long as you have laid down the boundaries to the children it should be okay.

Perhaps you can say that following there concerns and as part of your continuous evaluations you are going to revisit safe practices with the children. :o

Edited by bridger
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Hi

 

I always look at the scissors on the craft trolley and wonder if they should be there. Perhaps they should be used under adult supervision in September until the children are aware of the boundaries and then this time of year left out the explore. They love using them.

 

As long as they are child's scissors and they are taught not to walk around with them. Mind you I did catch 2 little girls sitting under the craft table, cutting each others hair the other day!

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I think you need to be careful not to say that the children are "playing" with the scissors but that they are practising their scissors skills or use of tools etc.

Accidents will happen at times, but you need to be seen to be taking precautions and minimising the risks. So, you have taught skills and children are practising them--hopefully!

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We did have an incident with scissors last year so to cover ourselves should anything happen, we always put 'Give Scissor safety talk before starting activity' in our planning so if anything does happen we can show our planning if something did happen.

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Love scissor use - we had an incident where a child did cut someones hair!! So we still have scissors out all the time, but we have one supervisor at all times in that area to supervise all the other tools and utensils too! We updated our risk assesment as a result and our SEF with a massive appology to the parent of the girls hair that was cut. Luckily she understood the need for this equipment in relation to the childs phsyical development - she as a level 3 after all!

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Our scissors are out and accessible all the time in the upper 3-4's room. Children access them freely - there are loads of different sorts and a carousel of zig-zag type ones. Once they've been shown how to use them they are off - the last accident that happened was a while ago and it was to me! Caught one of those funny knuckle-ridges I'm getting (ageing eh!) and it bled a bit. LOADS of concern from the children and chat about safe practice - coming from them to each other!

 

I find that it's mainly children who are very confident with scissors who are accessing them, and those who aren't confident tend to give them a wide berth and choose something else - or even in one case this week, ask another child to cut a picture from a magazine for him to stick.

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Thank you everyone for your help and suggestions they have been really helpful. Bridger, no the parent was not there when the incident occured the child told her about what about happened a few days later at home the incident happened on Monday and I recieved an e mail Friday. There is some differences as you can imagine between what the child said and what the member of staff saw.

 

I have reviewed our practice and feel that maybe we should have informed the parent about the incident when it happened even though the child did not recieve any injuries and I have spoken to the staff member involved to ensure we inform mum of every incident her child s involoved in so that we hopefully do not have this problem again.

 

I will be composing an e mail to the parent today outlining the risks and benefits and apologising for not infroming her. I will also suggest that we will be reviewing the saftey rules with the children. The children are not left totally unsupervised there is always a member of staff in this area because it is the area where there are scissors paint water etc just not always at that table. To be honest even if childre are supervised incidents like this can still happen as it is not 1 to 1 supervision, I hope the parent can understand this.

 

Thanks once again Jojo

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  • 1 month later...

Even one to one, in one of my reception classes a very experienced LSA was helping a child with their cutting skills, he was not reliable with his scissor control so she was watching closely and helping/intervening as necessary. When a child across the class slid over and cried out she looked up and in the few moments it took to register what had happened and turn back, the child she was with had cut a swath of hair from the front of his head!

Fortunately, his mum was OK about it. and most of the the class came to realise cutting your own hair is not a good idea, without needing to try it themselves first.

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