Call from nursery : your daughter's hair has been cut off

(214 Posts)
emoo777 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:35:51

DD is 3 1/2 and we have been growing her lovely blonde hair, so that it was easy to put into a ponytail. I have just had a call from nursery to say the children were 'playing hairdressers' and before they saw what was happening her hair had been massively cut off. It was several inches below her neck and now apparentely can't be put into a ponytail and they suggested I book a hair appointment to even it up!?? WTF?! 3 year olds with scissors and not properly supervised? I haven't seen it yet as I have to work ahead of picking up the children. I can't work though as am furious - I don't know whether to cry or shout. What do I say to them when I pick her up? Surely this shouldn't have happened?

Tailtwister Tue 08-Oct-13 15:38:40

OMG, that's awful! The nursery should at least apologise and pay for the trip to the hairdressers to sort it out. They also need to address the issue of supervision too.

BurberryQ Tue 08-Oct-13 15:38:47

say nothing until you feel calm is the only advice i can give.....

FreeWee Tue 08-Oct-13 15:40:22

The nursery should definitely pay for the haircut and I would ask for a meeting with the manager about supervising children with scissors.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 08-Oct-13 15:40:31

Haven't they even apologised?? That's awful! Kids will be kids, of course, and these things happen, but they should be aware that you would be likely to be upset! shock

manicinsomniac Tue 08-Oct-13 15:40:33

Wow. If this was older children I'd say it was one of those things and not really the teachers' fault. (7 year old at our school got her bobble stuck in her last week, took her friend into the classroom at breaktime and asked her to cut it out. She didn't do a good job!)

But at 3 they shouldn't have acces to scissors sharp enough to cut hair. Even supervised it only takes a second to shove them in another child's face etc.

sleeplessbunny Tue 08-Oct-13 15:41:15

well haircutting can happen very quickly. I was guilty of a similar incident at primary school blush
but i'm not sure what sort of scissors they should be using at 3, i'd have thought the proper sharp ones wouldn't be allowed? In which case there is a safety issue that certainly needs addressing.

Mollydoggerson Tue 08-Oct-13 15:41:18

I wouldn't care about the hair, the main thing is she is alright, but I would be concerned about the level of supervision. Do they have cc tv in there?

Don't go in all guns blazing, take an investigative approach.

Yes just calm down, try and think it will grow back and lots of children cut their own hair at that age anyway.

Pick her up from nursery as usual, I would just say I wasn't happy but was going to look at it when I got home and that I will speak to them about it tomorrow/later in the week.

Have a look at it, get it sorted, then tomorrow or in a few days when you can see the funny side, talk to the nursery calmly about your concerns regarding the scissors etc.

CMOTDibbler Tue 08-Oct-13 15:42:08

Its one of those things that happen. Hair grows back, and at least it wasn't a big chunk out of her fringe or one of the many other delightful ways children all over the country cut each others hair every day.

I think 3 1/2 year olds are perfectly old enough to use round end scissors without supervision too.

Rosa Tue 08-Oct-13 15:42:44

Listen , nod. Take dd out of ear shot then if as you say they were unsupervised with scissors then I would calmly explode. Imagine if it was an ear , an eye or whatever.

nickelbabe Tue 08-Oct-13 15:43:09

how the hell are they playing with normal scissors????

they should only have access to safety scissors, which only but paper (at best)

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 08-Oct-13 15:43:26

That's unacceptable its a supervision issue,ask them what they are going to do to fix it.

turkeyboots Tue 08-Oct-13 15:46:29

My sister cut off all DBros hair with safety sissors at age 3. So it can happen.

Hope you can resolve it calmly with nursery (if you otherwise like them) and you get an apology.

littleblackno Tue 08-Oct-13 15:47:21

Paper scissors are sharp enough to cut hair - my then 4 yr old dd cut her own hair after sneeking a pair up to her bedroom, I found the hair under her bed. My friends son cut his little sisters beautiful curls off too at about the same age.
I would agree that they should be supervised with scissors but it can happen quickly and i wouldn't be too hard on the staff.

Mama1980 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:47:47

Unfortunately I think it's just one of those things. My ds had a lump taken out of his fringe at home ed group at 3. At 3 1/2 I think they are ok to be using round ended scissors with minimal supervision these things happen so quickly.

nicename Tue 08-Oct-13 15:47:52

Was it those teensy kiddie scissors that barely cut paper, or proper scissors?

Small children shouldn't have scissors if they aren't at the art table and certainly shouldn't have the opportunity to lob chunks of hair off.

Mama1980 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:48:22

Forgot to say they should have apologised thought!

PeterParkerSays Tue 08-Oct-13 15:48:28

Do you work? I only say that to see whether you can stay at nursery after dropping DD off tomorrow morning or get there early today so you can speak to the staff without her in ear shot.

Arrange it as a formal meeting - I would like to speak with the manager this afternoon regarding the implications of what's happened to my daughter. I'll be arriving at 3.00 so we can talk for 30 minutes before I collect DD as usual.

Be business like and clear and give them fucking hell.
Remind them that they're lucky your child's ear or eye weren't injured in this escapade.

Mama1980 Tue 08-Oct-13 15:48:39

Though (obviously!)

At 3 I would think they were using school safety scissors which can definitely cut hair as my DS4 knows oh so well hmm

Unexpected Tue 08-Oct-13 15:49:13

I think letting three year olds play at all with any kind of scissors (even safety ones) is irresponsible. Fine for cutting paper or craft where there is a bit more supervision and they shouldn't be waving the scissors around but "cutting" hair and fringes with scissors is just asking for all kinds of trouble.

quoteunquote Tue 08-Oct-13 15:50:52

Unsupervised play with sharp scissors, I would ask them for a detailed explanation as to how it happened.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 08-Oct-13 15:51:21

I think it is fairly standard with small children - if she'd been at home with siblings then it might have happened. DS cut a chunk of his own hair off at 4, fortunately you couldn't see it.

I still think they should apologise, although it's not the end of the world, they were still in loco parentis and should take responsibility.

Maybe it's only a little bit hence the need to even it up? OP come back and tell us how it went. I hope they apologised profusely.

If they were using proper sharp scissors then that's really out of order.

TheFabulousIdiot Tue 08-Oct-13 15:55:12

horrible though it is I would calm down and just accept that these things will happen (It could have been an older sibling who did it for example) and the hair will grow back. Just even it up yourself, no need to pay for a haircut.

LittleMissWise Tue 08-Oct-13 15:56:11

She would have had access to scissors that are sharp enough to cut card and paper, the ends would have been rounded, so they will be sharp enough to cut hair.

When I worked in a nursery we only let them use scissors at an art table, or supervised at the table in groups for keyworking.

GladbagsGold Tue 08-Oct-13 15:56:22

DD cut her hair in places at a similar age... I say calm down first and then discuss it. I let my DC use scissors fairly young and although they've cut hair they've never used them as weapons.

emoo777 Tue 08-Oct-13 16:00:39

Thanks for advice - I will try to stay calm. I suspect my reaction is exactly why they told me in advance. They are writing a report on how it happened so shall see what it says.
Is this Karma I wonder - I cut off another girl's plait when I was 6... blush
Will update on severity but if it will no longer go in a pony tail it must be a lot. Now that I am coming to terms with the loss of my little girl's hair my main issue is safety concerns.

Thurlow Tue 08-Oct-13 16:01:59

The hair being cut is annoying, but from what I understand it's one of those things that's bound to happen at some point (I once decided to roll bluetak into my hair to 'see what happened' and had to have my entire fringe cut off). If the other child managed to hack a bit off with safety scissors very quickly then I'd say it's worth a quick chat but it's just one of those things.

If they were unsupervised with sharp scissors, that's a very different conversation.

HenriettaPye Tue 08-Oct-13 16:02:20

I would be annoyed about her hair but I would be more annoyed about lack of supervision. Children of 3 are still so young, if they are using scissors, I would expect them to be in a small group, sitting at a table with an adult. If that was the case this sort of incident wouldn't have happened.

I would be annoyed about the hair but so relieved that it wasn't something much worse- an eye, ear etc. I would definitely be having a stern word with the teacher!

Beastofburden Tue 08-Oct-13 16:04:06

The report will tell you what happened. Ask to see an example of the sort of scissors.

I would focus on the safety. Hair grows back, and it is not as if the staff meant this to happen. So if someone just got incredibly ingenious with safe scissors and a moment of unsupervised glee, then you will have to suck it up. If they are sharp scissors and the kids were left unsupervised, then I would say you are worried about injury next time.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Oct-13 16:05:29

This is very common.

DD gave herself a mullet at the same age and one of her friends cut all her own fringe off. Both with "safety" scissors.

PeterParkerSays Tue 08-Oct-13 16:07:02

At least the nursery now know not to allow children to play "hairdressers" under any circumstances

ErrolTheDragon Tue 08-Oct-13 16:07:35

Oh dear. My DD cut her fringe off when she was small ... it was one of my proudest parenting moments that I didn't go ballistic but calmly asked where her fringe was, as the hair had totally disappeared. It turned up several years later tucked inside a book.

The thing that is perhaps interesting is that while kids cutting hair off is quite commonplace, I've never heard of kids actually hurting each other when playing doctors. Which implies a modicum of sense!

thelittlemothersucker Tue 08-Oct-13 16:09:54

Take photos. If you want to make a formal complaint, they'll be useful evidence.

OrchidLass Tue 08-Oct-13 16:14:30

Lack of supervision is the issue here really not the hair. At my nursery the hairdressing kit has toy plastic scissors and if the children ARE using real children's scissors they should be sitting down and very closely supervised. I was sitting with a child about a year ago while she was snipping happily away with a piece of paper, someone called my name and I looked up. She cut a lovely big chunk of hair out from the back of my head.

valiumredhead Tue 08-Oct-13 16:17:04

Even with supervision these things happen.

pixiepotter Tue 08-Oct-13 16:18:46

Oh for goodness sake doesn't every girl either cut their or own, or one of their classmates/siblings cuts their hair at some point in their childhood.

Its really hard to harm yourself/anyone else with the type of scissors that kids use but to use them to cut hair is very easy.

I think you could be a bit cross and ask them to pay for DDs haircut (a one length bob looks better on little girls anyway than the meh ponytail that every other young girl has) but anything more than that I think is a bit of an over reaction.

fluffyraggies Tue 08-Oct-13 16:21:49

At 3 i would expect children with scissors to be sat down in a small group of 5 or 6 at a time with an adult sat with them until the activity is over. Next group sits down ... etc.

NOT giving them out and then having the children wander about with the scissors at all. If it was one of my groups i would have a you can leave the table if you want/need to - but the scissors stay here with me.

Some thoughts for when you ask them their 'scissor time policy, OP'

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Tue 08-Oct-13 16:25:57

This happened to me when I was 5! <eyes OP and Sleeplessbunny suspiciously.>

TiggyD Tue 08-Oct-13 17:00:11

Ofsted want continuous provision. Access to art equipment, such as scissors, all day. If a child is busy cutting paper at the art area you can't stay with them because that means the other 7-12 pre-school children are not getting your attention. When you're away it only takes second for the child to lose big clumps of hair.
This came up in a meeting I was at about meeting the needs of the EYFS. The workers who attended wanted to hide scissors until a staff member was with the children. The expert said the children needed scissors at all times and that parents don't mind if their children lose hair because it's "one of those things". Everybody thought the expert was from a different planet.
In most nurseries children have access to scissors but the staff are very nervous about them and monitor them closely, but can't do it every second.

time4anamechange Tue 08-Oct-13 17:13:45

Was just about to write what tiggyD said

DorisShuttAgainstGhosts Tue 08-Oct-13 17:14:46

Friend's DD lost a chunk of her hair from her pony tail too. Think a square largish table with 4-5 kids sitting round. Nursery worker was round the other side, saw the other child raise the scissors, turn, grab pony tail and cut, but couldn't get there in time.

I would be a bit more concerned about the "playing hairdressers" with real scissors though and be asking about that.

crazykat Tue 08-Oct-13 17:32:53

My 4yo DS1 cut a chunk off 5yo DD1's hair at the front a few months ago. He then cut a chunk off the other side to make it the same. They'd only been out of site five minutes while I made DS2's bottle. Fortunately it looked like a long fringe and was pretty even so didn't need to have 6 inches of her hair cut off. even SIL who's a hairdresser said he did a good job.

emoo777 Tue 08-Oct-13 18:37:32

OK now I have seen it and its bad, really really bad. It has gone from should length to no longer than an inch in length in any place and 1cm in many places - she just looks like a boy really, but with very uneven hair. I am struggling to imagine this being a few seconds work. It looks like several minutes. The scissors were metal child ones (i.e. just smaller versions of adult ones and very sharp). They have offered us a meeting with the owner and I think we will take it but am not sure how this is going to help - the damage is done really. My concern is now how could this happen to such an extent if they were being closely supervised.

LIZS Tue 08-Oct-13 18:43:02

was it back in a pony tail when chopped ? If so it wouldn't take as long to snip off as if it were loose

Branleuse Tue 08-Oct-13 18:43:15

I think its a rite of passage. They all do it. Its horrid. My dd did it, my neice did it,

It looks shit while it grows back, but If theyre doing crafts, there will be scissors they have access to.

Wow. That is SHORT. that's a lot of unsupervised time with scissors. I'd demand a meeting before she goes back.

TidyDancer Tue 08-Oct-13 18:48:28

What explanation did they give when you went in as to how it was allowed to go that far without being seen?

Booboostoo Tue 08-Oct-13 18:49:39

You are right to be worried about the children's access to scissors and potential safety issues, however don't become too obsessed over hair. At the end of the day it's just hair. In a couple of years she may want to have it all shaved off, there is nothing wrong with a girl 'looking like a boy' and no one should get upset over such a small change in their appearance - speaking here as someone whose mother had an unhealthy obsession with her hair!

rockybalBOOOOa Tue 08-Oct-13 18:51:20

Wow, from a ponytail down to just 1cm in places is VERY short and def more than a few seconds work snipping off a ponytail. I would be beyond furious. Def arrange a meeting. What does their report say about how it happened and to what extent they were being supervised?

neolara Tue 08-Oct-13 18:51:24

Um... I think it's pretty common for kids to cut each other's hair with scissors. Most kids at some point have a chop from either themselves or their peers. I also think at 3 it's completely fine for kids to use scissors without being watched every second.

frogspoon Tue 08-Oct-13 18:52:12

I would be very concerned. Children that young should not be playing unsupervised with scissors sharp enough to cut hair.

If they were unsupervised long enough to do that much damage (as opposed to cutting off a plait which takes seconds) then how often are they under that little supervision?

Fortunately hair will grow back and no permanent damage done, but could have been far more serious (e.g. poke another child in the eye with scissors)

MissMarplesBloomers Tue 08-Oct-13 18:52:36

Well it will grow back that's one thing so a goo hairdresser will be able to even it up & make a nice short bob. No harm done.

HOWEVER that amount of cutting, not just a hacking of a chunk does take time with those scissors.

You can't ban scissors, they need to learn to use them appropriately & safely, but sounds to me that she was left for some time unsupervised. Did she do it to her own hair or did some other little monkey do it for her?!

Time for them to review their ratios or supervision of cutting activities methinks.

DownstairsMixUp Tue 08-Oct-13 18:53:09

Wow that sounds like an awful lot. Even if it was a pony tail and snip the tail was off, to get it to that short in other places would of meant quite a reasonable amount of unsupervised scissor play - was it defintely sharp scissors?!

Butwilliseeyouagain Tue 08-Oct-13 18:53:55

I would be asking why toddlers were clearly unsupervised for a considerable length of time while using scissors!!

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 18:56:26

3.5 year olds are going to be in a ratio of 1:8 at best, 1:13 in many places - not all children will have an adult watching them at all times!

I can fully imagine a child taking scissors (constant access, even if they are supposed to only be used at the craft table) and for example going in the home corner to play hairdressers without an adult noticing the real scissors.

I don't know how much supervision people are imagining in a nursery/pre-school class?

MrsCampbellBlack Tue 08-Oct-13 18:56:52

Although I know it happens, I'd still be very very upset. DD cut herself a drastic lopsided fringe about a year ago when she was 3 and I nearly cried, which I know is quite quite ridiculous but I did feel very upset.

That amount of cutting though must surely have taken some time and playing hairdressers is not the same as cutting up at the art table really.

Idespair Tue 08-Oct-13 18:56:59

At 3 they should be playing with those plastic rounded scissors only capable of cutting paper. They should only be using metal scissors under careful supervision whilst they are sitting down. I'm not surprised you are cross about the hair but IMO it's more of a safety issue as those scissors could have gone into her eye or something.

Idespair Tue 08-Oct-13 18:59:48

I just read your update of how short it is. That is a lot of work for a small child and must have taken a significant amount of time.

colleysmill Tue 08-Oct-13 19:09:49

Oh dear op.

This reminds me of the time my dsis cut her own hair with plastic scissors supposedly only capable of cutting paper. This was less than a week before we were bridesmaids - needless to say she didn't have the planned French plait that my aunt had lovingly planned ......

lunar1 Tue 08-Oct-13 19:14:34

I would be very cross about the level of supervision going on.

SoupDragon Tue 08-Oct-13 19:15:11

Has the pony tail "just" been snipped off in one go?

Doinmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 19:18:04

All sorts of things can be dangerous, a pencil can take an eye out not just scissors. Just saying.

I feel for you though op.

impecuniousmarmoset Tue 08-Oct-13 19:25:40

I always feel like the worst mother in the world reading these threads. Does everyone really v.v.closely supervise their 3-year-old using rounded child scissors? I certainly don't - I might easily go off to the loo or suchlike. In a nursery with 1:8 or 1:13 ratios I can totally see how this could happen, it's really unfortunate that your DD's hair is quite so short but hopefully in a couple of years (ok, maybe by her wedding day!) you might be able to laugh about it all!

mathanxiety Tue 08-Oct-13 19:27:22

You are right -- to cut off that much hair all over, the children must have been unsupervised for a long time.

I would be really, really angry about the implications of this. You are lucky it was only her hair.

You need to ask about supervision and about monitoring practices to ensure the supervision that is supposed to be in place is actually there.

I am sure they will tell you someone was there and only looked away for x number of minutes, but you will need to ask how they can verify this and what system they have in place to cover emergencies -- if one child has a nosebleed or an accident for instance, who takes over care of that child or care of the others.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 19:31:48

OK, imagine a group of 24 children and 3 adults.

One adult is in the garden with some children
One adult is helping a child in the bathroom who has wet themselves
One adult is in the room with the other 15 children.

While the adult with 15 children is breaking up a fight, wiping noses and supervising children at the craft table, a couple of children take some scissors to the home corner and play quietly for a few minutes.

Not an unusual level of supervision. These things happen. Not all children are watched all the time.

mathanxiety Tue 08-Oct-13 19:32:59

Impecuniousmarmoset, the thing about monitoring at the nursery is that this time it was scissors - if they were unsupervised they could have climbed shelves, or climbed out a window, made a tower of little chairs and furniture, etc. The OP doesn't know how many times they have been unsupervised before or how many close calls there may have been up to today.

You can get away with leaving a child unsupervised for a little bit at home because it's just your own child who could come to harm (that doesn't sound right...) whereas in a nursery a child could hurt a lot of others.

mathanxiety Tue 08-Oct-13 19:34:56

When my DCs were 4, never mind 3, they were in a preschool where the scissors were kept high and dry and only taken out by the teacher or the aide. They never had free access to scissors. Ten to fourteen children per room and one teacher plus one aide there at all times..

If it was in a short ponytail then it may have simply had one good chop above the bobble - that would explain the shortness.

I would ask the nursery to pay for the trip to the hairdresser and ask to see their H&S policy and ask when it was last revised or reviewed, but I would also chill out a bit. It will grow back. No-one actually got injured.

The nursery's reaction to this will speak volumes about whether you can trust them in the future. When DS2 hurt himself at pre-school the manager was mortified and reviewed the entire layout of the room as how he had got hurt was treated as a learning exercise and she was adamant it shouldn't happen again.

piratecat Tue 08-Oct-13 19:36:05

has she quite fine hair? if so it wouldn't have taken long if it was tied up.

i'd be pretty concerned about the safety aspect.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 19:39:22

I can't recall being in a nursery classroom where children didn't have continuous access to scissors (and pens and pencils).

A adult in the room doesn't mean an adult's eyes on every child every moment. It's not possible at current ratios.

NatashaBee Tue 08-Oct-13 19:41:10

I agree with others, it doesn't sound like one quick snip, the child must have been left unattended with the scissors for quite a period of time. That's what you need to stress when you meet with the owner, I think - not the look of the hair but the safety risks. Remind them that it could have been a lot worse than ruined hair.

Viviennemary Tue 08-Oct-13 19:41:53

I am amazed three year olds are allowed to play with scissors which are sharp enough to cut hair. I would report it as a Health & Safety issue.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 19:42:24

Scissors that don't cut hair wouldn't cut anything.

fluffyraggies Tue 08-Oct-13 19:56:33

1cm in many places shock

Crikey that's more than a snip. It will grow back OP. But that's not the point is it? I hope you get a proper explanation tomorrow.

phantomnamechanger Tue 08-Oct-13 20:03:09

OP, how is your DD - is she very distressed?

Sleepyhoglet Tue 08-Oct-13 20:08:21

That should not have happened. But she was obviously happy for it to happen or she would have called out.

3asAbird Tue 08-Oct-13 20:10:33

ok 3things hope makes you feel bit better.

1)when dd 1 was 3 tried to cut her hair myself she moved went horribly wrong went to get a comb and she cut more off looked total mess mullet and had party to attend that afterooon lots kids perfect hair took a few months.

2)incident in nursery playing hairdressers but trim not as bad as your incident.

3)dd2 had fine messy hair never let me brush it , was growing slowly looked a mess went kids hairdressers got short bob just behnd her ears and looked lovely its been 4months starting to grown nice and long enough ponytail.

maybe hairdressers could do layer bob to try and do something about diffrent lengths im sure can be sorted get nursery to pay some pretty headbands and cbow side clips cheer you both up a bit.

Hulababy Tue 08-Oct-13 20:18:35

OFSTED insist on continuous provision, even at this age. That means things like scissors have to be accessible by children whenever they want to use them. Sadly even round ended plastic paper scissors cut hair - hair is usually thinner than paper after all. And adult:child ratios of this age is fairly big isn't it?

I am sorry your little girl has ended up with her hair cut. I'd be gutted too sad

mojojomo Tue 08-Oct-13 20:23:55

Do you know if your dd was happy to play along with the hairdresser game, e.g. did she also cut someone else's hair?

As well as the obvious concern that anything could have happened- if they have unsupervised access to scissors then "not near anyone's face" is surely a fundamental rule? Anyway I'd also wonder if your dd was playing happily or if she was upset about her hair bring cut. Also, at what point did a nursery teacher notice? During the cutting or after? If afterward, I suspect they can't tell you more than a good guess about how it happened.

diddl Tue 08-Oct-13 20:24:11

"That means things like scissors have to be accessible by children whenever they want to use them"

Why is that?

mojojomo Tue 08-Oct-13 20:27:37

And I'd be furious. And want to speak the manager. Depending on their response I'd rethink childcare arrangements. I don't see the point in speaking to the other child's mother, she's not responsible unless she suggested it at home.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 20:28:33

Even if the rules are scissors only sitting down at the table, holding them carefully etc, sometimes 3 year olds don't follow the rules.

Iwaswatchingthat Tue 08-Oct-13 20:29:01

Safety scissors can def cut through hair. My dd2 age 3 at the time, asked innocently for a sweeping brush. "Why?" I asked. "To sweep up all of this hair" she replied....

Arrrgggghhhhh!!! It grew back...

I do think hair cutting is very common at that age tbh.

Iwaswatchingthat Tue 08-Oct-13 20:32:57

Oh no OP. I have just read your update of how short it actually is. That is awful and you are not overreacting to be gutted and want to know how it happened.

Dwinhofficoffi Tue 08-Oct-13 20:34:31

The best three year old setting I know allows the children to have scissors without close supervision. Accidents can and do happen.

Famzilla Tue 08-Oct-13 20:36:02

Haven't read the whole thread but I cut a girls hair in nursery once. I had blonde curly hair and was jealous of a girl with long (down to her bum) black hair so I cut half of it off.

Luckily her mum understood that it was just one of those things kids do.

(Before I get a flaming I was 4, and my mum told me off)

thelittlemothersucker Tue 08-Oct-13 20:56:09

((())) Hugs for the OP.

Shallistopnow Tue 08-Oct-13 20:56:45

Complain to your local authority. Its very upsetting and could've been far worse. I bet you they've all had a laugh about it at home this evening. No standards these days.

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:03:25

There is no way the hair cut you describe could have happened quickly. My dd had her hair cut at school - it was nothing like as bad as you have described. I am being very serious when I say that you should leave this nursery and report to Ofsted. This is a serious health and safety issue and thank god it is just hair that has been cut. The children have obviously been unsupervised with scissors for quite some time.

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:05:58

on a practical note - get it into one of those short pixie cuts. It will look cute.

Ooh that sounds like a long time with scissors and no supervision sad

fairy1303 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:08:42

When I was three I cut off the very long, very blonde hair of my best friend at nursery using the red plastic scissors. If I remember rightly it was her 'birthday present'

My mum was HORRIFIED - paid for friends hair cut etc.

If it makes you feel better, her hair grew and we are still best friends now - she was maid of honour at my wedding and our mums are best friends too - it was that incident that introduced them.

kerala Tue 08-Oct-13 21:18:03

Ridiculous overreactions. It's hair it grows back. It's funny they were playing. They don't care how they looks unless mummy is weeping and wailing and making a fuss about it. And I speak as mother of a 3 year old who hacked off her own fringe.

jamdonut Tue 08-Oct-13 21:18:21

Sounds like the child who did the cutting had remarkably good scissor skills!
So many children start school not being able to control a pair of scissors at all, as it is becoming more and more common for children not to be allowed to use them at home. In the year 3 and 4 I work in, quite a number of children still have great difficulty cutting anything resembling a straight line,even with paper.

marriedinwhiteisback Tue 08-Oct-13 21:20:39

It isn't about your daughter's hair being cut as much as it is about safeguarding. The scissors should not have been out if there was inadequate supervision and I don't care what a poster said upthread. On this occasion it was your daughter's hair; on another it could be a child's eye. In my opinion this was a serious breach of safeguarding rules and a serious episode of neglect.

The hair will grow and she will probably look like a fabulously elfin urchin; the alternative consequences don't bear thinking about and they are the reason why I would be looking for a written reassurance and threatening to report them to Ofsted, the LA etc., if they don't provide a written action plan about how they will prevent this in the future.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 21:23:43

Should no pens or pencils be available either in case they go in someone's eye?

starfishmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 21:29:18

To all the people saying that hair grows back and these things happen - how would you feel if someone came along and hacked off your hair?
I don't think you would be saying the same things then.

starfishmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 21:31:11

To all the people saying that hair grows back and these things happen - how would you feel if someone came along and hacked off your hair?
I don't think you would be saying the same things then.

fairy1303 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:31:43

Of course I'd be upset - but kids are kids and if her friend hadn't had done it I'm sure she would have done it herself eventually!

I understand the concerns about lack of supervision etc and of course initially it is upsetting - but trust me, it will soon be a funny story to tell.

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:31:47

of course children should have access to scissors and sit with them and cut with them and be taught how to use them carefully. Accidents do happen - as I said before my own dd had her hair cut at school but it was just one massive chunk. One snip. What op is describing is something that would take a considerable amount of time for a child of that age to do therefore the children were clearly not being supervised.

starfishmummy Tue 08-Oct-13 21:33:25

To all the people saying that hair grows back and these things happen - how would you feel if someone came along and hacked off your hair?
I don't think you would be saying the same things then.

pigletmania Tue 08-Oct-13 21:33:26

My main concern would be, why the hell were 3 year olds left with sissors sharp enough to cut hair! As for her hair, it will grow, calm down, and have a wine

littlewhitebag Tue 08-Oct-13 21:33:30

Cutting off hair is the work of seconds. No one can supervise children that closely. It is hair. It grows back. My eldest DD 1 was murdered. No come back from that. D2 had her hair cut off at age 3 by her cousin. It grew. You all need to calm down.

AChickenCalledKorma Tue 08-Oct-13 21:35:11

It's very easy to cut hair with round-ended safety scissors.

However, it's very hard to stab someone or poke their eye out, because the ends are blunt. So the safety issue is a red herring, really.

And I can well imagine an incident like that going un-noticed, if they were playing happily and quietly in a corner. It wouldn't take all that long if they cut off the whole ponytail at once sad. DD1 had two similar haircuts when she was a similar age - one at the hands of her little sister and one when she decided she didn't want a fringe any more ...

hippo123 Tue 08-Oct-13 21:35:30

Sorry but I would be livid!

pigletmania Tue 08-Oct-13 21:36:33

I agree littlewhite, its only hair, its not her life

cartoad Tue 08-Oct-13 21:39:00

Maybe if it is OFSTED that are saying that the scissors that are supposed to be available at all times then you should be complaining to OFSTED that this is a ridiculous rule when there isn't enough supervision to ensure that situations like this don't occur. Particularly with metal scissors. I know that plastic paper scissors can cut through hair but it usually takes a lot more effort than using metal ones.

if they are the ones saying that 'parent's don't mind' and they 'understand' but most parents on here seem to be saying that they understand how it happens but they don't like it and would much prefer if it didn't happen. And that yes, whilst it was only hair that got cut this time, it got severely and badly cut by the sound of it, but it could have been so much worse - what if they had stabbed in her eye or cut across the top of her ear? If enough parents complain then maybe they will realise how wrong this guideline is for this age group.

If scissors were kept even up a couple of shelves up, the dc could ask for them whenever they wanted them - then the staff would know there were scissors on the loose and keep an eye out of the back of their head on them. Wouldn't stop all these accidents happening but would certainly help. and would make the kids realise that just because they can cut something they shouldn't always - they could just have easily been cutting up the curtains or a toy or clothes - which would also be incredibly annoying.

Of course what wouldn't be annoying is if the OFSTED inspector had their bag or coat chopped to pieces by a child that got hold of sharp scissors because OFSTED say you can't put the scissors away and all the adults in the room were busy doing other stuff and being kept busy by the ofsted inspection grin

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 08-Oct-13 21:41:59

What littlewhitebag said. And there's no implication that she wasn't perfectly happy to let this happen. In fact if you can catch a reluctant 3yo and 'hack' off their hair without them wanting you to then I award you the Mumsnet prize for speed, strength and agility.

Ragwort Tue 08-Oct-13 21:44:02

Op - you said yourself that you cut off someone's plait when you were 6 (and should have known better at that age surely?).

This comes up every few months on Mumsnet grin - you all know how low the ratios are in childcare - this sort of thing will happen. No child is going to be supervised 100% of the time.

Read littlewhitebag's point to see what really matters sad and get a grip.

Hair will grow back.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Tue 08-Oct-13 21:44:34

hetienne - no, no scissors, no pencils, no pens, no chalk, no dolls with sticky out arms or legs, no toy cranes, no toy utensils, no ... in fact, lets just stick to ... well... an empty room?

Safeguarding/calling the authorities/withdrawing from the nursery/climbing out of windows... I have a HUGE pile of Grips, please help yourselves.

Emoo It's upsetting when it's your child who has had their beautiful hair lopped off sad but it will grow smile

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 08-Oct-13 21:45:18

And wtf is the obsession with girls having long hair here lately? Did we turn into the Pre-Raphaelites or something?

kerala Tue 08-Oct-13 21:45:55

Starfish ridiculous analogy they are tiny and playing 3 year olds don't care how they look one of the fab things about being a pre schooler. Stop imputing adult emotions onto very young children. I would be worried if child had banged its head but hair cutting who cares?

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Tue 08-Oct-13 21:46:53

littlewhitebag I am so sorry to hear about your DD1 sad x

PansOnFire Tue 08-Oct-13 21:48:44

I agree that it's only hair, it doesn't really matter although the shock of it must be awful. But I'd be very worried about the safely element, it might only take a few seconds to snip hair off but it would also only take a few seconds for a child to gouge another child's eye out. I'd be livid.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 21:49:26

soverylucky - have you ever tried to closely supervise 8+ 3/4 year olds, in a classroom with home corners and book corners, while also trying to run activities or read stories? Sometimes, some of those children are not directly in your line of sight for minutes at a time.

If people are really saying that all they want in a nursery classroom is for children to be completely supervised at all times then we either need a lot more adults, or to stop free play and outdoor access and just have all the children doing the same activity with an adult at all times.

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:51:07

She probably did think it was funny or nice to have her hair cut by her friend. All parents can identify with that and I clearly remember as a child cutting my own hair and that of my dolls. But the issue for myself and most other posters is that there was clearly a supervision issue. If this was a pony tail that was chopped off then we could understand that but the hair cut described by op clearly took some time.

cartoad Tue 08-Oct-13 21:53:03

OP - has your dd said anything about her hair and whether or not she likes it now? <nosey smiley>

pigletmania Tue 08-Oct-13 21:56:12

blimy op, just re read your post, the nursery wereu not encouraging children to play hairdressers like I first thought, but were playing hairdressers from their own volition. YABVVVVVVVVU, accidents happen, and hair will grow back, its
a right of passage to have hair accidently cut off, get a grip. I lopped off my own hair when I was 5, it grew back

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:56:24

very sorry littlewhitebag to read about your dd.

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 21:57:46

We will have to agree to disagree. I would not let my dd at 3 and half play on her own with scissors. I would not be happy with my dd's nursery not being able to supervise properly with scissors.

neolara Tue 08-Oct-13 21:58:04

My friend tells me of a birthday party she went to as a child. A child got hold of some scissors and every guest at the party got a haircut.........

Ragwort Tue 08-Oct-13 21:58:15

At three and a half your DD is old enough to shout loudly or thump the other child if she didn't like having her hair cut so she probably enjoyed the game of hairdressers wink.

Actually at the pre-school my DS attended they regularly made the 'play house' into a Beauty Salon grin for role play.

wonder if she tipped the hairdresser.

hettienne Tue 08-Oct-13 22:00:27

soverylucky - are you not happy if they don't supervise her ever? Do you expect an adult to be watching her at all times?

soverylucky Tue 08-Oct-13 22:04:13

no of course not. I have worked in education for the last 13 years as well as a volunteer play leader. I really don't have a problem with children being free to play and as I said before my own dd had her hair cut off at school by a friend and I didn't mind at all - it is the sort of things kids do. But the hair cut described would have taken a considerable amount of time. It is the length of time that bothers me. Free play does not have to include scissors imo.

I don't think the level of supervision/ access to scissors was necessarily wrong - I've worked in nurseries where 3 and 4 year olds had saws - but that did make me slightly nervous I must say.
But it's very understandable you would be upset about this.
The nursery should apologise, and offering to pay for a hair appointment would be a nice gesture.
But as a parent I think you have to see that accidents will happen, and at least no-one was hurt - and it will gradually grow back ?

Permanentlyexhausted Tue 08-Oct-13 22:12:46

I imagine it's a shock and I'd be sad if it happened to my DD because she has beautiful hair now.

I say 'now' because a large proportion of it fell out a couple of years ago as a result of a serious illness she had. On top of everything else she went through, it was pretty crap to have her hair fall out just as she was getting better.

It will grow back.

Scarifying Tue 08-Oct-13 22:18:06


That does sound pretty bad. I would be pee'd off about it but I can also understand that things like this can happen. The kids could have been hiding out in the Wendy house (or whatever) and they could well have been quiet as they were doing it.
I just don't think its realistic to think your child is going to be actively watched at all times confused.
I would still complain to the nursery and I would expect them to pay for a good haircut (possibly the cut after that too)
It is only hair and, if you can get over the shock, I hope you find that your DD looks just as beautiful with a very short haircut. I find short haircuts on little girls are often absolutely stunning.
I hope your DD is ok.

Scarifying Tue 08-Oct-13 22:22:25

Id forgot to put the guard on the hair lipped when I went to cut his hair blush I did a big long sweep right along the top of his head. He looked like a badger sad. I had to shave all his very dark, vary thick hair off which made him look like a thug.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when I did it.

Scarifying Tue 08-Oct-13 22:23:59

Agghh typos galore!

I forgot to put the guard on the HAIR CLIPPERS when I went to cut my DS's hair

level3at6months Tue 08-Oct-13 22:31:56

I do sympathise, but there are some terribly hysterical reactions on here. Yes, your nursery aged child will use scissors. They will be supervised but they might be one of 39 with staff dealing with sand in eyes, wet pants, bumped heads and all the other daily occurrences in Nursery. A pair of round ended scissors might ruin a lovely hair do but they are no more likely to be horribly dangerous than a pencil or a child's nails. Accidents happen.

And breathe...

utreas Tue 08-Oct-13 23:14:56

Its not the end of the world is it

landrover Tue 08-Oct-13 23:23:11

Blimey, you are all very relaxed here! Children with scissors in nursery should be supervised, end of! yes fortunately for the nursery it will grow back but no way should that have happened!

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 08-Oct-13 23:27:04

The one thing know one has mentioned is that once you cut their hair it grows back thicker. How do I know this DD snuck paper scissors and cut her hair off in only a few minutes. When it grew it was so much thicker than before. Soon she will have a fabulous pony tail. And then suddenly they are 9 wanting side fringes and the such like.

mathanxiety Wed 09-Oct-13 01:15:22

Hettienne, I don't know what chaotic nurseries you are familiar with, but I know I wouldn't want any of my DCs to ever have the misfortune to spend time in them.

If there are not enough staff to adequately supervise the children, and if sharp objects can be reached by anyone who fancies using one, then those nurseries are dangerous places, poorly laid out if there isn't a direct line of sight for the adult into every square inch of the room, and badly run if activities do not include all the children at the same time so nobody can go off to do their own thing.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 09-Oct-13 01:30:47

Oh dear, I would be cross too, and be asking some serious questions about supervision and time left on their own.

But I'd hope the nursery were really apologetic and then I'd let it go (plus money for hair dresser obviously). Accidents do happen and though a shocking one not an accident that has left tears or blood I hope...

loveandsmiles Wed 09-Oct-13 02:31:04

Haha this brought back memories! When my eldest DC in pre school they were sitting on carpet for storytime and one little boy at back had scissors - he went along row cutting back of everyone's hair and clothing. To this day - 6 years later, mum's still refer to it as scissor gate and some still don't speak to each other - big argument followed the incident!! I can chuckle cos my DC was sat at the front.........

I would be mad if I were you, but these things can happen very quickly but no-one was injured and hair will grow smile

kali110 Wed 09-Oct-13 03:37:38

I cut my hair twice when i was little.very badly.
Everyone saying they should inly use safety scissors that only cut paper, they can cut hair aswell!!!

kali110 Wed 09-Oct-13 03:41:14

And no ot really doesnt take that long to cut hair that short as i demonstrated many moons ago

festered Wed 09-Oct-13 04:06:05

Hair grows back.

Supervision issue though, definitely. Scissors (if any!) at that age should be the plastic covered ones that don't cut owt but paper.
They should address the issue-you should make sure they do if only for the protection against children getting hurt in the future. If you can, keep your child off for a few days and make it clear how angry you are (calmly!) make them see that this is unacceptable.

prissyenglisharriviste Wed 09-Oct-13 04:23:06

Hundreds of kids give each other hair cuts every single day.
I have yet to hear of a three year old that wants to play stabbing or gouging. They are too busy being hairdressers.
They are using their imaginations, gaining brilliant fine motor skills, and are playing together cooperatively. Usually the kids don't mind their wacky hair cuts at all - it's just the mummies that weep and wail and gnash teeth.

Unfortunately, the child getting the hair cut is usually just as keen on the experiment as the kid with the scissors. grin and often has asked the other kid to cut their hair....

Chill out. I hope you laughed and said 'goodness me, dd, that's a bit of a hair cut, sometimes it's better to let a grown-up hairdresser cut your hair - she'll we go and find one to tidy you up a bit?' Sharp intakes of breath, shocked faces, and upset would really be making a mountain out of a molehill.

Yes, I have daughters. Their hair is usually waist length. I have a really short pixie cut. It's hair. No one was in any danger at all. Lots of girls with very long hair here are choosing to have it all cut off and donate it for wigs for children with cancer, even the little tiny ones.

mrssprout Wed 09-Oct-13 04:33:37

My niece had her hair cut by another child at the same age. My sisters partner picked her up that day & he was furious.She had never had a haircut before & the other child had hacked off a big chunk of curls at the front. He couldn't believe 2&3 year olds had been given scissors that cut like this. The scissors had been put out at a craft table that was one of a few choices that children could do, the teachers were wandering between the activities so no one was at the table supervising when the hair was cut. Just lucky it was hair & not finger, face etc.

monkeynuts123 Wed 09-Oct-13 07:57:40

Oh whoops! Those safety scissors can cut hair? I let my dd play hairdressers with me the other day and she merrily did me a 'haircut' at the back. I've got rather a lot of hair and wonder now if there is a bit missing, I haven't checked and at moment am at work nowhere near 2 mirrors, wtf! Ha ha. Agree with advice to arrange as a meeting and be very stern indeed and they def have to pay for haircut. I thought I did hear snipping but thought it was just the sound of my bristly hair on blunt scissors, I have a sinking feeling I've got a bit missing.

Ragwort Wed 09-Oct-13 08:19:00

Nursery fees do not enable staff to supervise the children 100% of the time, OFSTED rules actively encourage 'free play' - if you don't like that fact you need to employ a one to one nanny or stay at home with your own child.

I still want to hear more about the situation where the OP herself admitted to cutting off someone's plait when she was 6.

This is such a massive over-reaction, and expecting the nursery to pay for a hair cut hmm - this will only be passed back to you via the fees.

SkodaLabia Wed 09-Oct-13 08:30:46

Is it short all over, OP, or where the pony tail was tied? What does your DD say happened?

MrsLettuce Wed 09-Oct-13 08:36:27

confused are people not seeing that the OP said that all her DD's hair has been cut off, all over? Shortest bits 1cm and longest bits an inch?

That takes ages, I know, I did it to my own hair as a child.

Beastofburden Wed 09-Oct-13 08:42:13

Sharp metal scissors as well. Looks incompetent to me, I am afraid. This is not a trivial swipe with some child safe scissors. I think this is a health and safety issue.

Grennie Wed 09-Oct-13 08:50:19

Some of the reactions on her are way OTT. At nurseries there should be a range of activities on offer, and children choose what they do. This kind of free play is essential to young children's development. At 3.5 they are young, but they do not need an adult hovering over them every time thye use safety scissors. Safety scissors will not cause real harm, but yes they will cut hair.

Really, this is no big deal. It is just one of those accidents. In terms of supervision, it may have been one of those chaotic times where half the children had bumped their head, or had an accident, etc.

TiggyD Wed 09-Oct-13 08:50:21

Are you all aware that you don't actually need staff in the room at all? Children must be supervised by sight or sound, and usually both. It's legal for a member of staff to leave the room provided they can still hear the children. But you can't hear hair being cut.

Scarifying Wed 09-Oct-13 08:50:51

^Hundreds of kids give each other hair cuts every single day.
I have yet to hear of a three year old that wants to play stabbing or gouging. They are too busy being hairdressers.^

Hahaha grin that is so true!

Children at nursery do need to use scissors that are effective in cutting paper at least, unfortunately I don't think you could get scissors that would make a decent job of cutting paper (and fabric ?) but not cut hair.

In my experience these amazing child safe plastic scissors with rounded ends do not exist - or if they do would be tremendously frustrating for 3 and 4 year olds to use for their craft activities.

Grennie Wed 09-Oct-13 08:55:02

I wonder how many of you have worked in a nursery? I did when young for a short while. We all worked very hard and 99% of the time the supervision was spot on. But you only need a few different ordinary incidents happening at once to mean that you have to srvey the toom generally, rather than walk around and see what is happening close up e.g. sitting with a child on your knee cleaning their bloody knee after they have fallen over outside. You can see if a child is unhappy or being hurt, but if a child is sitting quietly doing something like this, depending on the angle they are sitting, you may not realise until it is too late.

Labradorwhisperer Wed 09-Oct-13 08:55:11

I think the OP has said in her update that the scissors were sharp - not safety scissors.

That would make things more concerning, and I would think she would be perfectly entitled to ask for an explanation, and for the nursery to investigate in those circumstances.

noddyholder Wed 09-Oct-13 08:55:58

This happened to my friend her daughter did the cutting. The 2 mums are great mates now after a rocky introduction. This is the sort of thing that is traumatic at the time but you look back on it with fondness once they are grown smile

Grennie Wed 09-Oct-13 09:01:33

Scissors need to be sharp to cut paper. So it depends what she means by this.

freddiefrog Wed 09-Oct-13 09:09:51

Both my daughters have been the cutter and the cuttee.

My eldest managed to cut a chunk out of her own hair with a pair of those crappy plastic scissors and me sitting right beside her.

I'd be concerned if they were using really sharp pointy scissors, but those safety scissors seem to be particularly crap at cutting paper, but excellent at hacking off chunks of hair

FannyFifer Wed 09-Oct-13 09:17:51

I would be mad if that happened to DD, that sounds like some haircut!

They are supervised with scissors at Playgroup but can still see how it could happen.
Might have a chat with her about not cutting hair or letting anyone cut hers.

The women that look after her would be pretty upset, I can imagine me having to tell them it's ok don't be upset it's only hair. grin

5madthings Wed 09-Oct-13 09:22:11

god some massive over reactions here!

yes its short but if it was up in a pony tail and cut of and then snipped at it wouldnt actually take that long, literally minutes and in a busy nursery or pre-school these things happen, just as they do at home.

yes metal scissors, my two year old uses a pair but they have curved non pointy ends. but even those plastic safety scissors can cut hair.

it is upsetting for you but your daughter obviously wasnt bothered. it will grow back and yes to a pixie cut!

i would be upset btw...just privately and not let my child see and not blame nursery as these things happen.

Dobbiesmum Wed 09-Oct-13 10:07:00

I have worked as a nursery nurse and never once did we manage to let a child wander away from the art area with a pair of scissors. Free play is one thing, this is just bad supervision and something that OFSTED would consider to be a child safety issue I think. Apart from the implications of a child walking around the room with a pair scissors, the fact that not one member of staff noticed does not reflect well on the nursery at all.
The children should be sat down at a table while cutting, with a member of staff supervising them. If that member f staff has to move away to deal with another incident then someone else should take over or the scissors should be moved away from the children until the staff member returns. It's common sense and good practice. Letting very young children wander around with scissors is not included in the EYFS as far as I can see..

AndHarry Wed 09-Oct-13 12:04:42

I would be absolutely gutted. Hair cut 1cm short? shock That's not just cutting off a ponytail!

PatoBanton Wed 09-Oct-13 12:09:35

I think the concern is mainly that a child has scissors, sharp ones for long enough to do considerable damage to another child's hair, and that if that child had had other intentions, for example playing at being a surgeon, anything could have happened.

coldwinter Wed 09-Oct-13 12:12:12

Scissors that can cut paper, can cut hair. But they should be of the kind that can not cut fingers.

Just looked at the Early Years Foundation Stage Forum where nursery nurses and managers are talking about issues. And they are saying atht at aged 3 and 4, children should be having independent access to child scissors. And a few talk about hair cutting incidents as well!

In my experience it doesn't happen though Pato. Children sometimes think that cutting hair is fair game but know that hurting each other is unacceptable (on the whole)

My small bridesmaid's brother did a bit of impromptu hairdressing on her, only three days before my wedding! Luckily it was only a chunk out of one side of her hair, and we were able to clip a lock of hair over the patch with a pretty hair slide, so it wasn't noticeable.

It happened because her dad, who was supposedly supervising all the children whilst they were having haircuts at home, let the 6 year old lad and his 5 year old sister make off to the hall with the hairdresser's bag of equipment, and didn't stop to think for a second that there might be sharp, sharp scissors in the bag!!

I do think there are real issues here - as others have said, it is not right that the children were able to take the scissors off into a corner. You can't watch every one of a roomful of children, all of the time, but for that very reason, you should be careful about access to sharp things, so that they can't make off with those to play quietly in the corner.

I also agree with those who have said that the nursery should be paying for the haircut to sort this out, as this happened on their watch. But I do agree with those who have said it is not the end of the world, and her hair will grow back.

MiaowTheCat Wed 09-Oct-13 12:31:57

In my experience these amazing child safe plastic scissors with rounded ends do not exist - or if they do would be tremendously frustrating for 3 and 4 year olds to use for their craft activities.

You'd think that... my brother's school bought the all-plastic scissors that never normally cut anything at all. Little sod and his best mate/partner in crime managed to take chunks out of each other's fringes and cut incredible hulk style shreds out of their school sweatshirts with the buggers!

impecuniousmarmoset Wed 09-Oct-13 12:33:36

I remember a little boy at my playgroup snipping at me with those scissors as I cowered on a chair! No actual damage. Scissors can be sharp enough to cut hair and paper but be unable to inflict much other damage esp not when wielded by a 3 year old. it's the rounded ends!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 09-Oct-13 12:45:41

In your shoes I would feel sad. But I do think it's just one of those things that can happen. I would complain about the lack of supervision (especially as the hair has taken more than an moment to cut) and ask for the nursery to pay you for the hairdresser. Then I'd take your DD for a cute pixie crop and try and play it down for her so she isn't upset unnecessarily.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 09-Oct-13 12:59:18

I'm quite amused by this in one way (not at your expense OP as it must be upsetting for you). A few weeks ago I was the only person questioning the wisdom of doing woodwork in nurseries on a different thread. Pretty much everyone (including my DH) considered me to be uptight in the extreme. In contrast many on this thread don't think 3 year olds should have access to kids scissors. It just goes to show what a broad range of opinion you can have over what is acceptable for children. Ho hum...

Chibbs Wed 09-Oct-13 14:28:12

shock wow that is quite a bit of cutting!

Yes, I agree Ghoul with finding it hard to accept the woodwork bench as just a regular fixture of the nursery environment, though I know good nursery classes that have gone in that direction and claim young children respond well to responsibility. I'm not so sure especially when staffing levels are often stretched beyond what would be ideal IMHO.
But equally unrealistic to think every 3 or 4 year old will only use "safety" scissors and with 1:1 support at all times.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 09-Oct-13 15:03:14

Thanks Juggling. You're right about ratios. On the woodwork thread everyone said the children would always be well supervised but this thread shows that supervision can sometimes fail. If the tool available is a pair of children's scissors then an unfortunate haircut is the end result (an acceptable risk I'd say overall). If there are saws and hammers available any, even momentary, lack of supervision could have much more serious consequences.

Scarifying Wed 09-Oct-13 16:51:15

I would love to see a photo blush in the interests of science

Hulababy Wed 09-Oct-13 17:01:38

If a pair of scissors is able to cut paper, then it is able to cut hair.

I don't think there is any form of scissor that is only capable of cutting paper. Some are not really capable of cutting anything at all including paper - though as strands of hair are thinner they would probably still manage that!

moldingsunbeams Wed 09-Oct-13 17:21:13

I once went for lunch on wet playtime when I was a TA and when I came back the teacher who had been in class had turned her back for a couple of minutes to deal with a poorly child and another child had painted his friend blue from hair to toe inc uniform.

Kids do stuff and quickly, I would hope they were safety scissors though.

mathanxiety Thu 10-Oct-13 05:30:08

hmm at the idea that 'free play' can or should involve using scissors unsupervised. I seriously doubt OFSTED is cool with this. Why bother with staff at all if lack of supervision is an educational plus for small children..

[I agree with Dobbiesmum]

ToffeeWhirl Thu 10-Oct-13 17:17:28

Relevant discussion about scissor safety and supervision during the Early Years. Looks like hair cutting happens fairly frequently... hmm

Ooh, thanks Toffee, that looks like an interesting forum to explore (work-wise)

mathanxiety Thu 10-Oct-13 22:21:23

On a board where the topic is hair cutting then I would expect the issue of hair cutting to be mentioned a lot, but it doesn't mean it happens frequently in the broader context, or that this is a risk every parent should accept as normal.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 10-Oct-13 22:36:58

No, the topic on that board isn't hair cutting, math; it is parent's issues with scissors.

I don't, incidentally, think what happened to the op's DD was acceptable. I just included the EYFS discussion as background to the discussion.

Personally, I would be very upset and concerned if I was the op.

mathanxiety Fri 11-Oct-13 05:39:36

'Have you done continuous provision planning and a risk assessment for your technology area? Perhaps it is worth showing the parent this risk/benefit information so that she can see the reasoning behind your setting doing things the way you do? Also in reassuring her of all the measures you take to ensure children are taught how to use scissors safely, and how you reinforce the safety message at every session? Whilst you may not have an adult at the workstation every minute, I'm sure the children aren't exactly unsupervised whilst they are there, are they?

Often I shake my head and tut a bit when parents say this kind of thing, until I remember that most parents don't have the training and knowledge we do, and that scissors can be very scary for parents because they see all the dangers and few of the benefits. Sometimes it does feel that we're educating the parents as much as the children, but I think it is vital that we help parents to understand why we do things as much as telling them what we do!'

What a patronising pratt.

The parent (whose daughter's finger received the 'benefit' of free access to a scissors in a zoo nursery classroom) is a hysterical twit who needs to see how rational the teaching staff are, the method behind the madness?

So easy when you're not the parent whose child had her finger cut or her lovely hair shorn. Bloody right we see all of the dangers and few of the benefits, and yes, when children can cut hair or cut a finger they really are as unsupervised as the parent imagines they are, and it is a problem. hmm

mathanxiety Fri 11-Oct-13 05:41:43

'We did have an incident with scissors last year so to cover ourselves should anything happen, we always put 'Give Scissor safety talk before starting activity' in our planning so if anything does happen we can show our planning if something did happen.'


ToggyD Fri 11-Oct-13 09:05:27

"hmm" if the wind changes you'll stay like that.

Yes, I'm not very keen on the "cover ourselves" comment.
If it reminds an adult to actually talk about being careful then that's slightly different.

mathanxiety Sat 12-Oct-13 07:19:19

It doesn't exactly shout 'We care' though, does it, and I think a lot of (ignorant and badly trained, etc) parents would like to see supervision around scissors and not some sort of lipservice to the 'ridiculous' idea that safety is important.


I have to say, reading that forum a bit was disheartening in the extreme, and not just because of the poor grammar/spelling, etc. There are some very arrogant nursery workers out there.

bubalou Sat 12-Oct-13 08:16:30

I worked at a nursery for a year
and not only is the pay minimum wage and they make you work parents evenings, school fairs & team meetings etc with no pay it is hard work. That's all fine but then most of the time you are understaffed because of the ridiculous staff to children ratios that are set out.

At the time in my room it was 4 children aged 2 per staff member. Sounds manageable - except they are all potty training. One has an accident you have to take all 4 with u and watch them whilst changing & cleaning the dirty 1. Also - staff have to have lunch breaks and toilet breaks - they don't give you extra staff to cover these!

We never had a hair cutting incident but there were a lot of bites or fingers trapped in doors and trust me we tried our very hardest and we adored the children we were looking after, we didn't just see it as a job.

It's horrible that this happened and I would be gutted but it is a sad fact that nurseries are all about profit and so their poor staff have to do the best they can with the little resources they have.

KaFayOLay Sat 12-Oct-13 08:19:53

I got a "you're child has lost her finger, meet us at a&e" call from nursery. I'd have been over the moon if they'd said hair instead.
It's all realative isn't it.

I'm sorry KaFay. How awful for you all sad

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 12-Oct-13 08:29:32

Just because worse things have happened to others..and I am truly sorry for losses suffered...doesn't mean people aren't allowed to complain about more minor issues.

We had a chipped tooth incident with dd at school. That was quite upsetting. I did the same myself when I was at school, as did my DSis.

everlong Sat 12-Oct-13 08:53:53

Why were 3 year olds left unsupervised with scissors?

I find this very odd.

KaFayOLay Sat 12-Oct-13 09:29:08

fanjo It is hair, hair grows. So she sports a pixie cut for a while, big deal.
Save the complaints for something worth complaining about I say.

The flip side of that, though, KaFayOLay is that maybe if no-one complains about the minor haircutting incident that arose from insufficient supervision of children with scissors, then the next poor-supervision-with-scissors-related incident could involve more serious harm.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 12-Oct-13 10:30:08 still shouldn't have happened.

But KaFay's comments come from a horrible experience for her dd.
I hope she was OK - or as OK as she could be after what happened ?

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 12-Oct-13 11:14:10

Yes..sympathies to KaFay..but that doesn't mean the OP can't complain either

RM0104 Sat 12-Oct-13 12:01:20

just read this.OMG I would be furious, from a safety POV. angry its totally unacceptable.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Sat 12-Oct-13 12:55:01

Pfft. It happens. DS spirited away a pair of scissors from craft table (he is 3) wandered over to computer and cut off the mouse. Now who got the bollocking there?

Not pre school that's for sure. DS got sent to the pre school head for a telling off. I got ticked off for presumably having bred a feral child and not taught scissor safety (no access to scissors what so ever at home) by pre school manager.

I said that at home he is properly supervised. and got a look like it was still my fault. The other school parents' view was that I should have been horribly embarrassed.

I was embarrassed my son had damaged property with scissors. It's not on. I was not particularly cross with the school. They can't watch everything.

fedupoffeckingschool Sat 12-Oct-13 13:08:38

Omg a pc mouse!! Lucky it wasnt an electric lead!

Have I missed a post from OP since she has met with the Nursery? I saw the one where she had collected her shorn child!

ProphetOfDoom Sat 12-Oct-13 13:26:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KaFayOLay Sat 12-Oct-13 13:29:09

To those that wondered, dd had initial op. A month of 2 weekly visits to hospital and finally plastic surgery.
Small consolation, it was her right hand, she is left handed.
Nursery were startlingly unbothered and even lied on the riddor form sent to HSE.

I'm so sorry KaFay sad
Response from nursery sounds shocking too.
My DBro severely damaged a finger in childhood and it had to be sewn back on (at A&E obvs)

mathanxiety Sun 13-Oct-13 06:44:27

KaFayOLay -- That is horrible and I hope your DD is recovering.

Yes indeed, Fedupoffeckingschool -- lucky is the word. Nurseries that allow small children unsupervised access to scissors are risking far more than haircuts. You can't blame the children if electric cords are cut. It was hair this week, but next week it could be far worse, and staff who can't see that are incredibly foolish.

Apart from the risk of electrocution or fire, how would a child feel if he or she wielded a scissors that blinded another student's eye? Or cut off a finger in a door, etc? Is it really so important for children to learn to cut paper that all other sensible considerations must be thrown out the window while they hone their skills?

I bet any amount of money if a teacher's clothing or hair was the beneficiary of the 'learning from experience with scissors' that is promoted by nursery teachers who lack simple common sense then the scissors would be kept in a safe and children would have to sign for them.

ToggyD Sun 13-Oct-13 08:57:46

You can't eliminate risk. Only reduce it.

PrincessScrumpy Sun 13-Oct-13 09:06:34

Dd1 did this to her friend's hair at a similar age. I was picking up dd and her friend so I had to explain and apologise to the mum. Luckily she was a mum of 3DC and understood these things happen. They are children and nursery staff should supervise yes but if you have a well behaved dc then they will be given more freedom. I don't think it's worth getting too upset about (her hair will probably grow back stronger)

kcumber Sun 13-Oct-13 09:38:55

i would be livid. it's a good job it's only a haircut she ended up with and not some sort of horrible injury.

mathanxiety Sun 13-Oct-13 20:42:02

That is true, Toggy, and since scissors can do so much damage, they should be placed out of reach and only used with supervision. This would reduce the risk significantly.

Throwing your hands up and saying 'accidents will happen no matter what you do' is the opposite of understanding what risk reduction can achieve.

jamdonut Tue 22-Oct-13 19:06:05

I dunno.

I never stopped mine from having scissors at home. Obviously not sharp pointy ones, but round ended,children's scissors. As a result they all have good cutting skills. My daughter did try cutting her bobble out of her hair when she was about five, resulting in me having to cut her hair into a fringe! But they have always,(apart from that moment),been very careful with scissors. They have known from a young age that you don't misuse them or run with them etc.

I do a lot of cutting out at school,especially laminated stuff. I usually use the children's scissors in the classroom. I managed to cut quite a big slice out of my finger with them, when I was distracted for a second! Blood everywhere!! blush hmm

Tracey64 Tue 22-Oct-13 19:33:16

My daughter was a little older than yours when she cut her fringe from almost waist length to a number 1! I stopped looking for felt like a few seconds while I dealt with her older sister. After that I banned her from using scissors. The end result was she started school and at the first parents evening the teacher told me that she was unable to use scissors properly. Accidents happen despite us doing our best to prevent them - and her hair will grow!

Tracey64 Tue 22-Oct-13 19:38:00

My daughter was a little older than yours when she cut her almost waist length fringe to a nymber 1. I turned my back for what felt like a couple of seconds to deal with her older sister and the damage was done. I banned scissors from that point on. When she started school, the teacher told me she was not able to use scissors properly. The moral of the story is that accidents happen despite our best attempts to prevent them - and her hair will grow again.

BakeOLiteGirl Tue 22-Oct-13 21:02:06

There's a difference between a chuck of hair lopped off and a full head of hair butchered which has obviously not taken seconds.

I would be livid if it happened to my child regardless of whether hair grows back or they were happy to let it happen to them. Totally unacceptable from the nursery.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now