You don't need a lab coat when it's time to introduce a new generation to electronics.
Even children who are barely in primary school will love exploring kits that snap together, components with magnetic terminals, and spring-loaded project boards. But as their interest grows and their fine motor skills improve, you might decide they’re ready to progress to projects that require actual soldering.
Experienced electronics buffs are well-familiar with the precautions that are needed for soldering safety, and it's easy to take those good habits for granted. Here are eight essential safety tips to teach the young'uns.
● Only solder in a well-ventilated area, or use a fume extractor to disperse noxious emissions.
● Keep the workspace clutter-free, and keep instructions or other flammable items clear of the area.
● Make sure your child wears clothing made from a low-combustible fabric. And goggles or safety glasses are ESSENTIAL!
● Choose a soldering iron with temperature regulation.
● Sometimes we manage to drop the soldering pencil. It happens! Tell your child to NEVER try to catch it: let it fall, switch it off, then retrieve it by the handle.
● Always replace the pencil in a soldering stand between cycles.
● Creating electronics is exciting, and children often instinctively want to grab whatever they’ve just soldered for a closer look. Remind them to let it cool for a few minutes!
- September 2021