Child Safety In The Home Workshop

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Blog entry by swampjack80 posted 11-28-2010 09:47 AM 4728 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi everyone,

So, I finally made it out to my shop today after a good/bad couple of Thanksgiving off-days. Good because I was able to spend some time with my family, bad because I had to watch Auburn mount a great comeback against my beloved Crimson Tide, bleh! So what could be a better way to unwind than piddling around all day in the ol’ workshop?
Well, I’m running a few short boards through the planer when my wife and 3 yr old son, Chad Jr., pay me a visit. I try to keep a safe work environment for my son since he likes to spend a good bit of time in the shop with me. He knows what he can touch and can’t touch but I still try to make sure to keep all safety keys out of any power tools. Knives, chisels, etc. stay out of reach of little hands. I make him stand at the door and wear hearing protection when I’m running a power tool, so he is out of harms way. Well, as we all know, accidents almost always find a way of happening and today one did. Chad Jr. was showing me his new shoes and shirt he was wearing and was so excited I guess he felt the need to jump in the air, which he did, full force into the fence rail on my table saw. He started crying, of course, and unfortunately bleeding as well. I looked to see the damage and there was about a 1-1/2” gash on the top of his head. By now the blood was running down the side of his face and onto his new shirt. So a trip to the emergency room and 3 staples later, he was fine and enjoying some pizza and ice cream. Hopefully he has learned his lesson about jumping around in the shop. My wife says he can’t go back in there, but I don’t want to stop him from hanging out in the shop. He really takes an interest in the whole woodworking thing, heck, he even sits with me in the recliner watching New Yankee Workshop reruns on saturdays. How cool is that?! I guess I’ll have to invest in a hard hat for my little buddy.

-- "I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey." - Mark Twain

11 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


20597 posts in 4725 days

#1 posted 11-28-2010 10:00 AM

That’s the way it goes dad. My son had to step up on the curb right beside the car when he was about that age. I told him not to because he might fall and get hurt. He did, right into the open car door on to the frame. Trip to emergency to stitch up his forehead :-(( We did not keep him out of cars for ever after that and there was no way to keep him off curbs or out of puddles either ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Pawky's profile


278 posts in 3853 days

#2 posted 11-28-2010 10:21 AM

I’m glad he’s alright. I look forward to having kids some day, ok more like some year still… but there is definitely so much that can go wrong, but you can’t stop them from joining in, that’s part of the fun. Looking back I know I did, and it was some of the best times spending it with my dad, and getting hurt. You remember when you get hurt, and oddly it’s not really a bad memory at all…

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 4032 days

#3 posted 11-28-2010 03:08 PM

Sometimes kids just need to learn about natural consequences in order to fully understand why somethings are not permitted. It won’t be long before he is back in the shop, and I’ll bet he thinks about jumping up in the shop next time. Keep teaching him the safety rules and you will still have a cool shop buddy to hang out with. Sorry to hear that he had to have staples as it is a hard way to learn about safety in the shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 3880 days

#4 posted 11-28-2010 04:09 PM

Ouch! Poor guy. I’m sure he’ll be back in the shop in no time. He’ll look before he leaps next time. Live and learn at any age. My boys are in the shop with me alot and safety lectures never end. Keep ‘em safe but interested.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3849 days

#5 posted 11-28-2010 04:11 PM

I say let em pull that stack of hardwood down on top of their heads or get their shirttails sucked into the planer a time or two! They’ll learn their lesson and leave you the heck alone when daddy need some alone time in the workshop because mommy won’t shut her trap and the doctor says eight beers a day is killing your liver but even that isn’t enough to make that old bag beautiful again and if I’d known how much life three kids can suck out of you…

Sorry, got carried away…

Don’t worry, I have a beautiful wife, a healthy liver and no children. However I also have a strange sense of humor…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3905 days

#6 posted 11-28-2010 04:19 PM

I went from my eldest sleeping in a drawer when he first came to the shop.
Both my boys had an area that was theirs. This also applied if my boss wanted me to work weekends.
My attitude was that if he wanted me to work in my family time, my family came with. There were some big machines around but the were always content in their space with their projects.
I’m sure every LJ has spilled some blood in the shop.
So your son is a fully fledged Lumberjock now, with a wonderful scar to prove it.
A child gate can be a good idea on your shop door. Accidents can happen so fast.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4164 days

#7 posted 11-28-2010 05:53 PM

thank´s for sharing the moment with us even thow there was an accident he allso know now
you are there to take care of him
we can´t protect children (and shuoldn´t) just take the isue of learn to use a cycle when they
fall they will climp the horse again and the faster they get up again the better just ceep up with
the good work with him
(may I be aloud to surgest you teache him to use handtools and you build a bench to him with tools)

take care

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4223 days

#8 posted 11-28-2010 05:53 PM

I’m really sorry about the injury.

My 10 year-old nephew visited, for the holidays. My mother really wanted me to spend shop time with him, teaching him a few things about the craft.

But I declined. I didn’t feel that I was/am able to see everywhere, at all times, and protect him from the myriad things that can go wrong—slightly wrong or horribly wrong—in these places that we love to spend time.

I’m glad, though, that you and others ARE up to the task, and are helping groom the next generation of woodworkers :-)

-- -- Neil

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4164 days

#9 posted 11-28-2010 06:03 PM

Neil when you are informed to do such a thing from mum you better listen you know that …lol
you don´t have to have an eye on every finger and on the backside of the head to take a child to the shop
you just have to have a few project in the background you can pull out where the wood is roughcut
maybee have been over the joiner
of course you teach how to use the handtool he has to use but let him build while you guide if needed
and talk a little safty with him before you start building

to start with let him build a few birdhouses /feeders and when you know he can use a hammer
and the handdrill go for a toolbox/tote

just remember to dedicate the time in the shop to him and his project ….i´m sure you will enjoy the time spend with him


View swampjack80's profile


53 posts in 4098 days

#10 posted 11-29-2010 05:56 AM

Well, little man was back in the shop today. I guess time will tell on the “lesson learned” thing. As for today I told him to stay the heck away from the table saw. He didn’t seem to have a problem with that as he headed to his/my box of scraps and back to work on his heavy duty black & decker workbench. Funny, I spent half the day yesterday convincing him his “bo-bo” was alright, and now I’ve spent nearly all day today convincing him its still there and he needs to be careful. Guess it doesn’t hurt too bad! He’s still a bit young to help out much with the projects (although he did hold a piece of wood for me when I was adding a drawer to my workbench a few months ago), but he does a good job practicing with his own tools. He has quite an extensive collection of tools thanks to black & decker’s line of plastic tools for the kiddies. Sure wish they’d have had those things when I was a kid. He has a drill press, a table saw and a bench vise, not to mention the hammers and wrenches and screwdrivers..even a hand plane! That little dude should be set to go when he does get old enough for the real thing. Hopefully woodworking will keep his attention and he won’t get dragged into the world of video games and the internet..except of course!

-- "I believe that our Heavenly Father invented man because he was disappointed in the monkey." - Mark Twain

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1130 posts in 4023 days

#11 posted 11-29-2010 06:34 AM

Sorry to hear about your little dude’s injury….he won’t even remember it in a day or two and your wife will settle down too.
Both my kids were in the garage this afternoon. I have to buy a second set of cheap tools as both my son and daughter wanted to use mine…Veritas and L-N hand-planes need to be dad’s only.
Love them in there with me, but can’t get as much done as they need supervision and help.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

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