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Rotary cutters…and kids

Obviously the two don’t mix, but how can a sewer or quilter help keep the small fry safe?

1. Keep your rotary cutters in a safe (and locked if necessary) location.
2. Always retract & lock your cutter blade when not in use. (And who has time to remember this 100% of the time?)
3. Use a pressure sensitive rotary cutter from Dritz or Kai Scissors (the royal blue handled stick cutters) where the blade is only exposed when you press down to cut. And it’s not only a safety feature for kids. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been at sewing classes/retreats to find a rotary cutter left wide open on the cutting mat.
4. Teach older children how to use a rotary cutter properly, including the rule that the rotary cutter may only be used under adult supervision. If your child is a bit of a klutz, have him/her wear a protective glove on the non-cutting hand.

In one of the shops where I teach, the owner doesn’t want any student under the age of 16 using a rotary cutter. Also, any cutters that I bring must also be the pressure sensitive kind. I do the cutting during class or trace off pattern pieces on freezer paper that students can cut out with scissors (like traditional dressmaking patterns).