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Use Of Scissors


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hi all, just a quick question.

 

the other morning we had a little girl who cut a chunk out of her fringe with the scissors on the craft trolley. mum was ok when we told her.

 

mum came in today not very happy at all and asked how it happened etc.

 

the main point she made was why the child is able to access the scissors from the trolley without constant supervision ( child in question is not allowed scissors at home - 3 years old)

tried to explain free choice, access tools safely, child initiated activiteis and so on but she is going to write an official complaint about me having scissors avaliable to child and not as a set one to one activity.

 

has anyone else had this kind of problem?

i feel its not fair on the other children who access the trolley correctly to have the scissors removed.

 

any ideas, or another way to put it to mum?

thanks

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oh dear! We have started to put scissors on our writng table as the children were asking for them and that could easily happen in our setting as the children independently use our writing table!

my initial reaction is that they are childrens safety scissors and we do hav very clear rules that the children never use them standing up or walking/running about I too will be interested in others views :o

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We have scissor on our writing table but they are the plastic one in different sorts Eg zigzag, straight and so on. They cut paper ok but will not cut fingers of cloth.

We also use these with the playdough.

 

Make sure you keep records of all conversations you have with the childs parents in your complaints book.

 

:o

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We too have them available to children for independent selection.

 

Tricky one as tbh if it happened to my child I would ask why nobody was supervising her...

HOWEVER. That child is just as likely to have managed to cut a chunk of her hair WITH an adult on the table so xD

 

 

It is hard for parents to realise that we can't physically watch 8 children at once (or even 4 for under 3's!) and I think their argument is that if you can't watch them we shouldn't have possibly dangerous activities. As we know though, Ofsted expect them to be able to access the equipment :o

I would maybe make the point that if scissors are banned at home it has made the child even more curious about them? My own daughter has had access to scissors since she was really little and is only 2 now! As has been said, we have rules about their use and as I childmind tehy have to put them back out of reach of hte younger ones etc.

 

At the end of the day s**t happens. I'm sorry but it does. It is really unfortunate that it happened at your setting because it could just as likely have been at a friend, relative or her own house. Most kids do cut their hair at some point after all!

 

I personally would contact Ofsted on Monday and tell them what has happened and pre-empt her. She may just be ranting (I had a parent last year threaten to 'report' me because a child had bitten her daughter) and if you tell Ofsted first she may back down!

 

I'm assuming you have already written an incident report and got her to sign it? That was what saved me in the end as she was claiming I never told her it was a bite but she had signed the report!!

 

Good luck hun and let us know what happens!

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Firstly, we have scissors available in the craft area constantly and children are trusted to use them sensibly. I believe that the risks associated with this are low, although obviously this means that there is a risk that something could happen. But this is the same in many areas of pre school groups and part of running the group is to let children take risks but minimise the chance that they may hurt themselves or another child. I think you are providing the best for all the children in your group by operating in this way. As Pandamonium stated, it is impossible to give children 1:1 attention for every area there is a slight risk attached and quite frankly, if this is what is expected then we wouldn't be able to offer the children anything that wasn't adult led! :o

 

My only advice would be to carry on as you are - make sure you have a risk assessment of the area - and deal with her complaints in the same way as you have been, by calmly explaining what your policy is etc. My guess is that this will blow over as quickly as it came. Good luck. :D

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I've got to own up here regarding free access to all equipment...We kept scissors seperate to the rest of the equip. unless an adult led activity specifically required them, but the children knew they could ask and have them given out without a problem. It helped us to know who had some and how many pairs were floating around. If more than 3-4 children asked for them or if a child we knew to be a little unsure of the rules wanted some then if an adult wasnt already part of the activity one soon would be. The children also knew to stay at the craft table, they could bring things to be cut but not take the scissors away. That said, I do remember one child trying to cut his finger because he wanted to know what would happen! I think with mom, you'll just have to try to reasure her but be aware that she could go bad mouthing you around the playground. You could put a note in your newsletter if you have one, regarding the safe use of tools and the importance of children being able to take a lead in their learning, ask anyone who wishes to speak to you if they have a problem. I always found this was never taken up. :D:D

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like most of you, we do have rules about only using them sitting at the table. the child in question was sitting at the table with 3 other children and an adult, but still managed to do it.

 

have made record of complaint, and spoken to mum to let her know we are taking the matter seriously.

 

im hoping it will blow over, but from how she was taking today (maybee just heat of the moment) she will not let it rest until i agree to remove the scissors from being accessed!

 

will keep you informed of how things go. thanks for replies, im now off to the pub!!!!

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Where do you draw the line I have worked in Foundation, Year One and Year two and have had a scissors incident in all three year groups!!! All involving hair but it has never made me question whether or not scissors should be available. Children are naturally curious and I wouldn't want it any other way. Anyway the hair will always grow back!!!!

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My youngest daughter cut a big chunk out of her T shirt whilst at nursery but I sort of thought she should've known better. I gave her a strict talking to about use of scissors but it turned out to be a stage she was going through. (As I found out after PJ's, duvet cover and beanbag all suffered from same state xD ) The beanbag is a real nuisance as it still leaks balls all over the floor when used as I haven't got round to mending it yet. :o Enjoy your drink. :D

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Oh Ruthie, I echo Pandamoniums' and Beaus' advice.

I also have had this happen in my preschool ( as I am sure many others have). Yet I still enable free access to scissors in our craft area. We do have plastic scissors with the dough, so that the younger ones, who choose dough-sensory-activities prior to model making, cutting paper activities- get over the "curiosity factor" of using scissors.

 

Just a note of warning, only in my experience, if others witnessed this they may try soon, fringe cutting may come along in threes ( like buses).

 

I would talk the rules of scissor use to the child in front of the parent, making it clear that in preschool she follows preschool rules, LIKE ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN ARE ABLE TO DO. Encourage the parent to help you "teach" her daughter safe scissor use at home, ( because ALL the other children can) thus working together to "teach" the child. You could also show the parent and child that the scissors ARE SAFE because they have rounded and not pointed ends, and that is why they are SAFE to use with PAPER/CARD ETC. Then I would give the child a pair of scissors, with some paper with lines on, ( from the edge of paper in about 2 inches-snip cutting-1st skill to learn/master) to take home and cut, and ask her to bring back to "Show" her new skill at news time, thus turning a negative into a positive learning curve. :D:D

 

I know, I may be in a dream world, the perfect scenario, but you never know it might work. :oxD

 

Peggy

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p.s. Friday night, no doubt you won't read this until tomorrow, so I'm off up the pub too. :oxD Raise your glasses, here's a toast to "allowing children to take risks" CHEERS.

 

Peggy

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just another thought, You are of course following the childs interest and changing your planning to include a hairdressing salon in your role play area next week :)

and don't forget to tell the parent that the preschool photographer is due next week for the Easter photo shoot :oxD ( whoops, wicked me, but when I get fringe cuts at my preschool it is ALWAYS a week before the photographer arrives :( )

 

Peggy

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I obviously have NO life and AM NOT going to the pub, am not AT the pub, and will not be going to the pub this evening. However, I have consumed wine, which may be the reason that I read the post as the child having cut a chunk out of her FINGER! :o I really must learn to apply my reading clue skills. :)

 

In the nursery, when I arrived, children had free access to scissors, as many of your children do. However, after an incident with a child cutting hair, and another cutting an item of clothing (all further up the school) a 'scissor policy' was imposed, which stated that scissors should be out of reach of children, who were encouraged to ask for them, and be supervised using them. I have found that children rarely ask for them, so, instead have to plan free-play opportunities( xD ?!) where the supervised use of scissors is permitted. Annoying, but apparently necessary.

 

One of my girls did ask for scissors today, having drawn a lovely pear in the writing & drawing area. I simply requested that she brought her pear to the art & craft table to cut it out, where there was already an adult present who could supervise this action.

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Hi

 

I work in a FS unit and we have decided to have the scissors generally available. What this means for us is that in the nursery base scissors are based on a shelf where children can see them and request them for some sessions. At other times the scissors are placed on the craft table for general use. In the reception room the scissors are on a craft trolley where children can access them indepednently. This situation has occured as we have sessions sepaerate.

We also have scissors avaiable outside for use when appropriate or when requested.

Up unitl a month ago we had not had a problem with any child cutting inappropriately. However a boy from reception with very poor scissors cut a chunk of short hair from his head whilst an adult was present at the table supporting another child. The rest of the children were shocked at his action and concerned that he might have cut his head. We informed his carer (who said he had cut clthes etc at home), however his mother was very upset and asked for scissors to be removed.After discussing this at our team meeting we decided that the scissors would not be removed from general use to be extra vigilant (if that's ever possible!) We also discussed immediately with the all children about the safe use of scissors and what we could materials we could cut etc.

I feel that at my current setting we do not allow children enough access to additional stationery resources as it is without removing scissors from the equation.

Regarding the child who cut his hair my concern centred around his very poor control of scissors generally and the potential for harm this could have caused rather than banning him from using scissors. He needs to develop his control of scissors (and other tools) and next time I will provide him with a mirror!!!!

We were also aware that this boy was undergoing a lot of changes and upset due to his home circumstances and thsi was refelcted in his behaviour generally (the hair cutting being one of a number of changes that we have observed and are trying to support).

 

Lisa

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Why not wrap up all our children in cotton wool! Children learn best from their own experiences and if they are not allowed to face and take risks (within reason) how will they ever learn to make choices about safety. They have got to learn how to risk assess in life - we can't be around all the time to do it for them - we have got to teach them how to do it!

 

I worked in a nursery that had a workbench with saws, hammers, nails screws and wood freely available for them to use. they had been shown how to use them initially but then had free choice to do it themselves. If they hit their finger with a hammer they usually never did it again!!

 

Sorry - I am getting very tired of the Nanny state we are developing!!! I know we have got to be professional but we all survived without risk assessments!!

 

Sue :o

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I do think risk assessments may have a place, I think parents should be taught about risk assessment and how to judge real danger.

then perhaps parents would know that it is dangerous for a five year old to be allowed to cross main roads by himself but you really have to try very very hard to do yourself any damage with "plastic scissors." and my head would let me put the scissors out again! and maybe one day tools.

I am sorry to moan but it sometimes seems we are expected to be with each child every second of the day and prevent them from all accidents, arguments and upsets. While they come into school covered in minor and sadly some major scars where they have been left unwatched and even neglected.

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Children have to request scissors at out setting = rarely ever do and have adult led scissor activites but when the big O came she asked why scissors weren't freely available everywhere for the children to access (we have a lot of two year olds). We're had a child cut their finger at an adult led activity - wanted to know what it felt like?

 

 

Sue

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We always have scissors freely available - they are taken for granted by the children, although as children move up from the Toddler Room downstairs they are initially supported in all aspects so they can settle quickly. We've had the odd incident with hair/t-shirts, but nothing major. Until about 5 months ago when Yours Truly took a child to the toilet. Not wishing to leave the adult (VERY sharp ) scissors unguarded, I took them with me. Fiddling with them while I waited for the child, I managed to chop a lump out of my finger :o . It's very hard to look composed and professional when you're dripping blood in the sink calling for assistance!!

 

We had a very interesting Circle Time that day xD

 

Sue

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:oxD

Do I look for woman needing help at next weeks Ed Show?? :(

 

I once knew a child who after being asked to leave the pencil sharpener alone was seen holding his finger. He'd put it into the sharpener and turned it, his explanation was that he did it because he'd been told not to. :(

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So my point about these things happening even with adults there backed up then!!

 

I believe children should be allowed to take risks, we have had old electrical (unplugged of course!! :o ) items and screwdrivers for children to explore. They loved it and used the tools appropriately until some lunchclub children were at the table when the parents started to arrive and of course one child caught another one in the face. Personally I think it was accidental but the parent of the child 'got' was quite cross.

 

I have had to do the ICP as I have registered as a childminder... I managed to resist for a year but xD . Our tutor is OBSESSED with danger. To the extent that CMs should apparently not let children listen to the radio during the day (she has heard horrible news stories and :( people saying 'bloody') or watching TV as her own son saw 9/11 at his CM and was apparently traumatised for weeks....

My view is that as a good practitioner you use those things as learning opportunities but hey ho!

This week was the classic tho - we had to come up with an activity for a mixed age group of children. One lady had made ducks and put them on straws for children to hold up to sing '5 little ducks'

Bless her heart, she'd really thought about it and another lady went on about the dangers of straws as she has seen a child ram one thru the roof of their mouth and she would never have them in the house etc etc. That poor woman was so deflated as her idea was squashed. She did say she also did it on a washing line with pegs and I was amazed nobody suggested children might hang themselves or peg each other!!!

 

We are not allowed to put blinds up in our building in case children manage to hang themselves in the cord.

 

Need I go on? If we remove scissors for being dangerous then you have to remove:

pencils and paintbrushes (might poke someone in the eye)

paper (paper cuts are very nasty)

sand (might go in eyes)

water (might fall in and drown)

food (might choke)

felt tips (might draw on something they shouldn't)

Chairs and tables (might stub toe)

Carpet (carpet burns...)

Books (might see a picture that scares them)

all outside play (might graze knee)

 

Hee hee that was FUN!!! Any more?

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Ooh, this looks fun! :D

 

doors (might attempt to walk through door before opening!) :o

cellotape (could pull hairs/skin if accidentally stuck on child) xD

pegs (could get a nasty pinch) :(

pastry/play-doh cutters/rollers etc (could graze/cut skin - despite being plastic in our setting) :(

gardening (may encounter germs, could get hurt using real tools) :(

wendy house (could be traumatised by being in the dark if curtains & door are closed) :wacko:

crates (could over-balance and fall) xD

dressing up hand-bags and necklaces (could wrap around neck and strangle) :rolleyes:

cash register (could squash fingers in door) :unsure:

real money (Yeurk!! Dirty!!) ;)

wooden building blocks (could topple on to child) :ph34r:

 

That really was fun wasn't it!! :)

 

On a more serious note, I'm interested, Pandamonium, in your unplugged electrical items, as I've been thining about introducing a similar free-play activity with old appliances & tools. Have been advised to see H&S person, any advise beyond this? Are your tools real grown up tools or 'child sized'? What items have you used? I was initially thinking of an old computer keyboard and an old telephone... I guess it could be anything couldn't it? Just answered my own question.

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I have had parents complain because we give their children knives and forks to eat with (dangerous weapons ?) as they are NOT allowed at home xD We allow free access to all equipment in the unit and as many have already pointed out the accidents seem to happen more often when there is an adult around. Unless the government suddenly decides to have 1 to 1 supervision there is no way you can watch every child every minute of the day and even then children find way to experiment :o

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We also have free access to our equipment.

 

Our Early Years Adviser says that if a child hurts him/herself with say a pair of scissors, they won't do it again will they?

 

We are all for child choice, but when a parent helped the other day, they took the stapler from the graphics table and put it out of reach because she thought it was dangerous! It was interesting to note, that the only child using it inappropriately was her own son :o

 

Children only learn through experience and if we don't provide the experiences.............................

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Guest MaryEMac

Hi, everyone,

I agree with all comments, accidents will happen whether an adult is present or not. This subject reminded me about an incident a few years ago at our group. We had decided to have a hairdressing salon for role play activity. We aquired a hairdryer(no leads), rollers,combs etc from one of the assistants who is a hairdresser. We found some plastic scissors, but before these went into the area my then co-leader decided to check that they wouldn't actually cut hair. Without telling me what she was going to do she used my hair to do the checking !! Luckily they wouldn't have cut butter so my hair was okay. Perhaps it's the adults with scissors we need to keep an eye on?

Mary

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How many of you "bite" the cellotape instead of using scissors to cut the required length?

I did this as a child and a peice of cellotape "stuck" in my throat, every time I swallowed it cut my throat- hasty visit to hospital for extraction of a painful small piece of tape. ( I still "bite" tape now :( )

 

Stapled my finger once too, the staple went through my finger nail (ouch) still provide stapler at preschool though :(

 

Life is a risk, and without them I wouldn't of had the above to write :oxD:(

 

Peggy

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I raised this topic at pre-school over lunch the other day. My supervisor was horrified that children have unsupervised access to scissors. 'Health and safety is of paramount importance and I wouldn't dream of letting children use them freely' was her quote. I pointed out that my daughter has used scissors freely at home since she was old enough to handle them (probably 2 1/2). Her face was a picture! Does anyone else feel like this?

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I stopped biting sellotape when my latex allergy was confirmed - in case!!!

 

The really strong-sticking types can actually pull off a bit of skin from your lips, which isn't fun!! :o

 

Sue

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