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Youth and Rotary Cutters

Youth and Rotary Cutters

Old 05-01-2011, 07:04 AM
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Looking for advice and opions about youth using rotary cutters. Our 4-H program requires all youth (5 to 18 years old) to do all their own cutting. Today's techniques call for rotary cutting that makes projects come together so much faster and more accurate than cutting with scissors. I have tried to argue about the inappropriateness of the this rule. What age do you think it is appropriate to use rotary cutters?
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:07 AM
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I don't know the answer to your question, but I have seen a column or two by Alex Anderson about teaching children to quilt. She identified a type of glove that a rotary cutter cannot get into, that she has the children wear on the hand holding the ruler while they cut.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:07 AM
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I have children in my 4-H sewing culb and arts & crafts class that are age 6-10 using rotary cutters everyday. I just make sure that they are very careful and stand by them the whole time they are using them. We talk safety all the time with sewing machines, cutters, needles etc..
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:34 AM
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My granddaughters used them without injury when they were about 8 and 10.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bearisgray
My granddaughters used them without injury when they were about 8 and 10.
When I read about what some kids did 50-75-100 years ago at very young ages - they grew up FAST!
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:42 AM
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It greatly depends on the maturity of the child.

I tried unsuccessfully with my youngest when he was 10. I got quite a few gray hairs in the process. No matter how patient I was or how careful, he still wanted to go at warp speed! Which is not a good thing with sharp objects. I finally told him that I would do all the cutting and he could do the sewing. That was scary enough.

He made a couple of things then lost interest. Doctor said he was border line ADHD. When he became a teenager, he did a complete 180. Sometimes so slow a turtle could pass him!

Oh well, each child is different.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:59 AM
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Maybe 4-H could purchase a few klutz gloves and some could cut while others measured, sewed, etc. It would be cheaper than a doctor bill!
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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Does your county offer clinics for various projects? ours does and things like this are covered. since the members work on their actual projects at home the parents would be responsible for the supervision of cutting/sewing. If a parent does not want their child to use a rotary cutter they can have them use scissors and have the child explain that to the judges. Remember, below the age of 8 they are cloverbuds and wouldn't be doing an actual project that would require a rotary cutter. 4H projects require kids use all types of tools-in the workshop, sewing room, kitchen and in many cases handling large animals. The projects/books emphasize safety.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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One tip I would give you is to use a rotary cutter that requires pressure for the blade to be exposed and cannot be left in the open position. I believe Dritz brand is one of those type. No button to keep blade open as it automatically retracts when pressure is lifted. Also might consider those rulers with the raised edge on them. Can't remember what brand but they have an acrylic lip on one side. Or perhaps one of those suction handles so their hands are touching the ruler itself but just the handles. And of course supervision at all times is a must.
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Old 05-01-2011, 08:12 AM
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I don't think there's a magic age. I would probably want my child using a protective glove and if I personally were teaching others' children to use a rotary cutter, I would develop a permission slip for parents to sign. I've just seen too many posts here on this site of careful, experienced adults slicing through their finger.
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