When people think of science projects they think of beakers filled with chemicals and people in white lab coats adding different ingredients to each beaker. The next thing that they picture is the entire lab going up in a great explosion. While this might be a dramatization people often wonder is doing science projects are safe. The answer to this is that yes science projects are safe.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when doing science projects.
Pick age and skill appropriate projects. While it is great to challenge your children you do not want to tackle a science project that is designed for a high school student if your child is only seven years old. Also you do not want to pick a science project that is designed for your child’s age group if they do not have the proper skills. You as a parent are the best judge of how complex the project can be. An important idea to keep in mind is to start off small and once they have mastered the easier projects move on to the next level. This will keep your child interested but will also help to keep your child safe.
Always use the proper safety equipment. If you are going to be doing any sawing or mixing of chemicals you will want to wear protective eye gear. If you are going to be working in the garden you will need some gloves, etc.
Read the instructions carefully before you start. Always follow the instructions; the instructions are put in place to help protect you and your child. Sometimes you can change the instructions, such as in cooking, but you need to use common sense when doing this.
Do not mix chemicals that you are unsure of how they are going to react. To find out about different types of chemical reactions you can do research on the internet or at your local library before attempting to mix them.
Do not take shortcuts. Shortcuts can lead to accidents and that is what we are trying to avoid.
Always have fire extinguishers handy, you never know when something is going to catch on fire. Also keep a first aid kit nearby, these are for you minor accidents such as a scraped knee or sliver. For major accidents, you will want to call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
If doing a science project with chemicals do not smell or taste the chemicals. Also with chemicals you will want to be near running water. If you spill something on yourself you will want to immediately wash your hands before doing anything else. If some chemicals get in your eye you will want to flush your eye for at least twenty minutes and then go to the nearest emergency room.
Communicate with your child. Make sure to explain to your child that while doing science projects is fine they can not do it on their own. When doing science projects you always want an adult to present. You also want to explain to your child what you will be doing, talk about safety and what to do in an emergency. The more your child understands what is going to happen the safer they can be.
Remember that safety is the number one concern while doing science projects. If you are unsure about how safe something might be the best advice is not to do it. Never take unnecessary risks when doing a science project with your child.