Science Project Safety for Kids: A Parent’s Guide To Teaching Safety Precautions
*All science projects on our site require parental supervision. It is with this guideline that we will gear our safety information to parents or teachers who are supervising and assisting kids with their science projects*
Science projects are always potentially dangerous, no matter how small or how large the scale. Hence, it is very important to teach students about proper safety measures when doing any kind of project that involve chemicals, volatile substances or fire.
Safety precautions and proper laboratory procedures should be two of the most important things that teachers should introduce to their students at the beginning of the class. Letting them know all these precautions beforehand can help avoid future accidents and injuries both in the laboratory and at home.
Aside from safety procedures in the lab, parents should also reinforce these kinds of practices when their kids are creating their own science projects at home. Teachers can simply relay the same kind of information to the parents.
If you need a hand, here are some of the most basic and the most important safety practices that both the kids and their parents or guardians should know by heart.
First off, experiments should always begin with a thorough run-through of the steps and the materials needed for the activity. Encourage the kids to read about experiment or the project from beginning to end so they’ll know exactly what to do during the activity. This will not only spare them from unexpected spills and accidents but it can also save them time.
Before the start of the experiment, encourage them to ask questions regarding procedures and concepts that they do not understand and discuss them openly in class for everyone to hear. If they have no questions whatsoever, then let them proceed on with the activity.
When doing the activity at home, encourage them to consult their parents every time they do the activity. This way, they will always have an adult supervising their activity.
Never let the kids perform experiments without the proper safety gears. Laboratory gowns and goggles should be a must within the laboratory. If possible, do not let them perform the activity when they do not have the right kind of safety gears with them.
Remember, never leave the kids unsupervised most especially when they are dealing with fire or harmful chemicals and substances. Although you do not necessarily have to tell them what to do step by step (all of these are already found in their manuals), it is always safe to have a more knowledgeable adult keeping an eye over them in the laboratory or at home.
Also, instruct them to never mix chemicals, unless they are instructed to do so. Mixing different substances can bring about reactions that can sometimes be harmful or even life threatening. Again, always perform all these with the proper safety gears – such as goggles, gloves and a laboratory gown.
After work, always teach them to clean up their mess and to return everything in place. Clutter and left-over chemicals can be very dangerous to other people who might also be using the same area for other purposes. Cover up all the chemical bottles and properly put down fires.
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