Pocketknives are very useful tools. You can use them to open packages, tighten screws, and they can be essential for outdoor activities like fishing and foraging. If you like to take your kids along for these activities, you may be wondering at what age your child should get a pocket knife of their own.
Generally, the age at which a child should get a pocketknife depends on the maturity and activities the child is interested in. While some children are ready to handle a pocketknife as young as 6, others shouldn’t be given one until they are 8 or 9.
Keep reading to learn more about at what age your child is mature enough to handle having their own pocketknife. This way you can be absolutely sure your kid is ready before you give one to them.
How Do You Know When Your Child is the Right Age For a Pocket Knife?
The right age to give your child a pocket knife will vary from child to child, but generally, you will know your child is mature enough for a pocket knife when they have been taught how to use a pocket knife.
Sometimes kids attend schools where they are taught how to use a pocket knife. When this is the case, they may be ready for a pocketknife as early as six years old. Even if your child doesn’t learn about knives in school, if you frequently take your child to activities like fishing and show them how to use a pocketknife, this could indicate they are mature enough to handle one of their own.
Either way, most children are the right age for a pocket knife by the time they are 8 or 9 years old. This is because they are old enough to know the implications of what can happen with a knife, as well as at a good age when having one in their possession could be useful.
If you are unsure if your child is ready for a pocket knife or not, then this is a sure sign that they aren’t ready quite yet. It’s best to wait to give them one until you are sure they are ready.
Why Should You Give Your Child a Pocket Knife?
Maybe you are reading this and thinking that it is absolutely crazy to give a child as young as six a pocketknife. But the truth is, giving your child a pocketknife doesn’t mean you are giving them a weapon, rather it means you are giving them a tool to help them towards independence.
A pocketknife empowers a child. Besides the knife which they can use for some outdoor activities, many pocketknives also contain nail files, needles, scissors, and other tools that the child can use as they go about their daily life. And all of these tools can help with their development of autonomy. Of course, never let the child take the knife to school or in any place where you are not, regardless of their age.
Precautions to Take When Giving Your Child a Pocketknife
As mentioned above, you shouldn’t give your child a pocketknife until you are confident enough that they can handle it. For those that are unsure of a child’s readiness to handle a pocketknife, you should start by only letting them use it under your supervision.
For example, if you and your child fish together, get them their own pocketknife, but keep it with the fishing gear. This way they can only use it in your presence when fishing and not at their every whim. Just be sure the fishing gear is stored out of their reach at home.
You also should be sure that the pocketknife you buy for your child is specially designed for children. These knives will have a rounded rather than a pointed tip. This doesn’t mean they aren’t sharp, though, and you need to be sure that your child knows they still need to be very careful with the knife.
Additionally, don’t forget to train your child on how to use a pocketknife. Let them know the dangers of opening and closing the pocket knife, and when they need to check their fingers to be sure they don’t get caught in the wrong spot and the wrong time.
Although it may seem a bit weird to be talking about giving a child a pocketknife, they really can be useful tools for the child to use as they grow and find their way in this world. Just be sure that before you give your child a pocketknife, you know they really are ready for it and that they know how to use it safely.