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should matches and lighters be kept out of reach of 8 and 5 year old?

(39 Posts)
chocoholic05 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:31:48

He's actually six next month but that's beside the point.
We were round inlaws this evening and ds1 saw a lighter and said look look a lighter and said his brother had picked it up he said it needs to go out of our reach. Mil said no its staying there your both old enough now to be told not to touch it. Dh picked it up to put away and mil very firmly put them back on the table. I pointed out that actually by seeing a lighter and telling a grown-up he was actually doing the right thing. But she kept saying no theyre old enough now to know not to touch it. And there it stayed til fil went outside to smoke. He must have put it in his pocket after that.
I also pointed that when we stay in their caravan the first thing we do is take the matches and put them on top of the cupboard. She said that's rediculous and we should leave them in the drawer because they are old enough to be told not to touch them.

bundaberg Sat 26-Oct-13 21:32:40

wtf? of course they should!

CreatureRetorts Sat 26-Oct-13 21:34:05


Dh set fire to curtains at a similar age. Your mil is a fool.

grumpalumpgrumped Sat 26-Oct-13 21:35:00

Stupid woman of course they should, yes explain dangers (which you obviously have) but why leave temptation for disaster in reach?

Morloth Sat 26-Oct-13 21:35:31


We don't have any lying around but both my DS's know they would be in a scary amount of trouble if they were ever caught playing with fire, even the 3 year old.

You are both right.

chocoholic05 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:35:33

Exactly! But she was being so forceful and so determined about it. Acted like I was babying them or something!

TwerkingNineToFive Sat 26-Oct-13 21:38:59

I'm dp burned down the house at 5. The family lived in a caravan for weeks while it was getting sorted. The consequences are to awful to mess around with.

Callaird Sat 26-Oct-13 21:39:31

God yes! My brothers and I set fire to our fence and the next door neighbours shed and I was 10! Should have known better. Fire is fascinating for lots of people, children and adults alike.

(Yes we got in loads of trouble but mum took some of the blame for leaving her lighter lying around)

chocoholic05 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:41:24

After tea I also noticed matches next to the fireplace.behind a vase. No attempt had been made to hide them at all. My normally observant dc didn't notice them. However had they noticed I would have put them.some where else. As it was I kept an eye on them until we went home!

Liara Sat 26-Oct-13 21:42:05

Sorry, I'm with her.

Quite aside from the fact that they should know better, I cannot think of anywhere that and 8yo and an almost 6yo can't reach if they put their minds to it.

YouTheCat Sat 26-Oct-13 21:44:11

We never needed matches. Magnifying glass, paper and the sun was all we needed to make a fire.

If someone had left lighters and matches around though it would have been much easier. grin

Your mil is asking for trouble. Firey things are just too intriguing.

chocoholic05 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:45:26

I was thinking more out of sight than out of reach.

chocoholic05 Sat 26-Oct-13 21:48:58

As in out of temptations way.

UniS Sat 26-Oct-13 21:49:27

I haven’t ever worried about matches being out of sight or reach. DS has got to the age of 7 with out (TBOMK) messing about with matches. he is occasionally allowed to use matches ( under supervision) to light candles or the wood burner.

kangarooshoes Sat 26-Oct-13 21:50:29

YABU. Normal six and eight is old enough to know they NEVER touch matches or lighters. Nowhere is out of reach at that age, as someone said.

BackforGood Sat 26-Oct-13 21:51:16

I'm with Liara and you MiL too.
Yes, in your own hose / when they are somewhere they are likely to be left to their own devices for some hours, as a general rule it's better to have them out of any temptations way, but you were with their grandparents, in their own house, and you were there too - do you really think there would be the opportunity to set fire to something ??? Of course the dc should be able to understand there are things they just don't play with.

Retroformica Sat 26-Oct-13 21:51:40

I would expect the kids not to touch - however I still keep medicines and fire stuff out of reach as a secondary precaution.

ouryve Sat 26-Oct-13 21:52:41


Retroformica Sat 26-Oct-13 21:53:32

I think it depends on the type of child you have - one that will follow directions when given with explanation, or one that will just do silly things for the sake of seeing what happens.

ancientbuchanan Sat 26-Oct-13 21:54:24

I think that in the old days, when everyone had open fires, one of the key tests was " are they safe with matches" and 5 - 6 was about that age.

The problem is now that so few children have that experience that lighters and matches are fascinating for much longer.

So she may have been right looking back to her, and possibly my, youth, but you are right now. And if there is ever any question then of course you should err on the safe side.

But, dependent on how old she is, there could be a reason.

Floralnomad Sat 26-Oct-13 21:54:26

I agree with your MIL .

Permanentlyexhausted Sat 26-Oct-13 21:57:05

YABU - at that age they should know not to touch them if they see them lying around. In fact, I would expect an 8 year old to not only know not to touch them without an adult being present but also to be able to use them sensibly with adult supervision.

MaitlandGirl Sat 26-Oct-13 21:57:40

I live in NSW, Australia and we've been really badly affected by bush fires - despite all the news coverage, local evacuations, fire engine racing up the streets, helicopters overhead and smoke wherever you look - 2 x 8 year old boys took a cigarette lighter, piled up some dry grass and tried to light it on fire "to see how long it took the firies to get here".

These were just normal curious kids - but it could have been another massive brushfire. Thankfully they couldn't get the lighter to work.

Kids that age aren't old enough to understand the full potential extent of their actions.

MuffCakes Sat 26-Oct-13 21:59:58

I'm on your MIL side, your dc are not toddlers they already know not to touch, if you cannot trust your dc then how can you trust your parenting skills?

pixiepotter Sat 26-Oct-13 22:02:17

Depends on the child.Depends on their personality and how they have been brought up.Not so long ago children younger than that were lighting their way to bed with a candle.My kids had all laid and lit the fire so matches held no mystique for them.I can remember DS1 using an electric soldering iron at 2 under DHs supervision!

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