A few sensible work practices will help to ensure many years of safe and happy stamping! While rubber stamping doesn't present as many hazards as some other crafts, there are some common sense steps that will ensure that health risks are minimized and that stamping can be enjoyed with complete safety.
1. Work Area SafetyKeeping the work area clean and tidy helps to minimize any safety concerns. This should include:
- Replace protective caps on sharp objects and put them away immediately after use. Finding the sharp tip of a craft knife under a piece of paper can result in a nasty cut.
- Keep lids on any bottles of cleaning fluids or other materials. This not only stops them from spilling, it also minimizes the release of any fumes.
- Small objects can be a choking hazard for small children, therefore ensure that these are kept out of the reach of tiny hands.
- Some inks are permanent on many surfaces, therefore ensuring that ink pads and refill bottles can not be accidentally knocked over or brushed against can stop unwanted staining.
2. VentilationSome supplies, such as glues and inks, can emit chemicals and as such working in an area with good ventilation is advised. The heating of products can also release chemicals or change the nature of the substance and this should also take place in a well ventilated working area.
3. Heat ToolsHeat guns are used in a variety of stamping projects and have been designed for craft use. These are relatively safe to use however a few key tips will ensure years of use from a heat gun:
- Unplug the heat gun after use. This will stop the heat gun from being accidentally activated.
- Leave the heat gun to one side to cool. Do not let it come into contact with any highly flammable items.
- Don't touch the nozzle of the heat gun as this gets hot during use.
4. AllergiesPeople with severe allergies should check the supplies before use and take specialist advice. Sufferers from allergies to rubber or latex should be particularly careful before starting stamping.
5. Children and PetsStamping is a great activity for young children. However there are lots of small components that can present a choking hazard, therefore these should be kept out of the reach of very young children. Children should be supervised when using rubber stamps and it is important to check for any specialist advice or recommendations on packaging material.
Unsupervised children and pets are not always a good mix with stamping sessions! Small hands or paws can knock things over or nudge you as you are making a crucial stamp placement. Youngsters may also find jars of embossing powder or glitter interesting and cause these to spill.