Introducing kids to knives is a good way to teach safety and start a lifelong interest in blades. Here are three rules to instill in youth right off the bat.
RULE 1: “My knife is a tool, not a toy.”
Removing the curiosity through knowledge and experience is incredibly effective for creating a safe environment for a kid.
Just because the knife is a Buck fixed blade does not make it any more dangerous than a steak knife in a kitchen drawer. Though innocent, a curious boy who has acquired a steak knife to play with is far more dangerous than a boy who has earned the privilege of owning a Buck knife as a tool, in my opinion.
Has anyone ever heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat?”
RULE 2: “Look around me.”
Granted, this is a vague rule but it stems from so many important aspects of sharing the world with other people.
My goal is to teach him not only about his personal safety but the safety of others as the highest priority. Hurting yourself is one thing but hurting someone else in ignorance is unacceptable.
Therefore, before he uses his knife, he must reflect on his surroundings and ask himself if it is safe through a form of risk mitigation. Risk mitigation fundamentally implies safety and will aid his ability to foresee unsafe situations as he grows.
RULE 3: “Put it away before moving.”
Have you ever misplaced your car keys and wound up driving somewhere in a rush because of the time wasted searching for them? I am guilty of it. Driving in a rush increases your risk of injury and, more importantly, the risk of injuring others. Roughly 37,000 deaths are attributed to vehicle accidents each year. I wonder how many of those deaths were because of people in a rush to get somewhere?
Practicing a consistent pattern of safe behavior has a butterfly effect. Getting in a car accident because you were in a rush is no excuse. The same concept applies to my son, and if he is taught that he is accountable for his pattern of behavior at this age, he will likely grow into an adult unwilling to sacrifice the safety of others because of a personal breach in consistent safe behavior.
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