How to Teach Knife Safety to Kids

Updated February 21, 2017

Knife safety is important for kids to learn as they start cooking and going on camping trips. When you feel that your child is ready to use a knife, begin by teaching her how to properly handle one. It is important that you not only tell her knife safety rules, but that you also show her. Kids learn by example, so always model good safety skills when using knives.

Teach your child only to use a knife when an adult is present.

Show him how to curl or tuck his fingers under as he holds the object he is cutting in place. His fingers should not be straight because he is more likely to cut himself that way.

Teach your child never to use a dull knife. If her knife is dull, tell her to ask an adult to sharpen it. Dull knives are dangerous because they require more downward pressure when cutting so they are more likely to slip.

Teach your child to make a safety circle before using a knife. Tell him to straighten his arm and reach to his left and right. If he touches another person, he should ask that person to move before he uses his knife. If someone enters his safety circle while he is using his knife, he should immediately put it down.

Teach the child to always cut away from her body. Show her that the dull part of the knife should face her and the sharp part should face away.

Teach him never to cut an object he is holding in his hand. He should always place the object on a smooth, flat surface before cutting.

Teach your child never to try to catch a knife if she drops it. She should just let it fall to the floor/ground and then pick it up.

Demonstrate how to point a knife down whenever he carries one. Otherwise, if he were to trip and fall it could hurt him or someone else.

Teach her to wash and put away knives after she is finished using them. Knives left in sinks could easily cut someone who does not realise they are there.

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About the Author

Margie English, a freelance writer based in Alabama, has been writing education-related articles since 2001. Her work appears in various online publications. She has a master's degree in education and taught English for seven years before starting her writing career.