5.14.2010

Safety in the Art Room

There are a wide variety of art products out there for children.  It is no surprise that I LOVE children’s art supplies and I spend a lot of time researching the best ones.  Any art product labeled for children is pretty safe especially considering the likely possibility these products can end up on the child’s skin, sometimes in their mouths and even rubbed into their eyes.  However, when children reach a certain level of maturity that can only be determined by the parents, they can begin to use better quality paints and mediums under constant adult supervision.   There is a big difference between children’s paint and professional paint.  Professional paint has much more pleasing characteristics such as color and concentration and texture and makes a more beautiful and long lasting piece of art.  However, there are many strong toxins and chemicals that go into making the paint.   Click here for a detailed list of the elements that make up the various paint colors.

These are 6 rules that we always follow:

1.  Before painting remind children to never put paint on their bodies and especially in their mouths and to try not to touch their face while painting.
2.  Always give children constant supervision when using acrylic or oil paints.
3.  Have the children use neoprene gloves when painting with professional paints and especially when cleaning brushes by hand.
4.  Make sure a band-aid covers any cuts on the hands or arms.
5.  Wash hands thoroughly after painting
6.  Label cups and plates that have been used for painting purposes with the warning, “for painting only” and store them away from your ordinary dishes.
7.  Read safety labels on paints.  GOLDEN is my favorite brand of paint and they mark the most hazardous paints with an X as a warning.  Lastly, children should never use professional materials in the form of dusts or powders that they can inhale.