At what age can a child use scissors safely?

Is there a 'right' age to let your child use adult scissors? We asked 1,400 mums about when they'd let their children use 'big' scissors and got safety advice from accident experts RoSPA...

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In a nutshell: Age 8 is when most people said they’d let their child use ‘big’ scissors (we polled 1,427 parents). 

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Kids love a bit of arts and crafts, and part and parcel with that usually comes some cutting and sticking.

And while small-handled children’s scissors with rounded blades are generally safe to use from a fairly young age, a number of the MFM team mums have recalled their children looking in longing at the ‘proper’ scissors their parents use and and wanting to get their hands on them for some serious cutting ✂️ ✂️

But at what age is it OK to let your child use ‘big’ scissors?

Answers on this one were pretty diverse. Most parents (19%) of the 1,400 polled said they’d want their kids to be at least 8 before they’d let them use big scissors.

The next most popular answers were age 10 (17%) followed by age 7 (14%).

Some parents said they’d let their children use adult scissors considerably younger, too: age 6 (11%) and age 5 (7%).

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Most agreed that whatever age they said that it depends on whether there’s an adult close at hand to give constant supervision. A fair few, too, said it depended in their child’s maturity levels.

One mum, whose oldest child is 5, commented that “they are accessible so best to know how to use [them] properly and safely”.

Another said she had given her children strict instructions on this one: “[I must be] there when they use scissors and I told them they could never use them if I was not there.”

At what age can a child use adult scissors safely? What the experts say

We contacted RosPA (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) who reminded us that it’s around the age of 3 to 4 years most children like to start to want use grown-up things, be helpful, understand instructions, be adventurous and explore. So, they could well be into grown-up scissors that early.

The key danger with scissors is if they are holding them while they walk, and then fall – as falls are by far the most common cause of accidents in the home, they tell us (accounting for 44% of all children’s accidents).

Naturally, the risks of a fall are amplified when a child is also carrying a sharp object.

“Ensure that scissors are held the correct way – sharp points facing downwards – common fall areas in the home are clear of clutter, and the child is walking slowly,” their advisors told us.

Yep, these are probably things we know already, but they are so worth the reminder, and good basic knowledge to teach your kids from as early as possible.

This tag cloud shows some of the key words that came up from comments on this topic…


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What do you think?

What age do you think you’d let your child use adult scissors? Tell us in the comments below, on Instagram  or over on Facebook

Images: Getty Images

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