Tips for a young left-handed child

A: The good news is that gone are the days when children were basically forced to do everything right handed — even if they preferred their left hand. Your daughter will likely learn a variety of techniques to help her adjust to many right-handed activities. 

If you know someone who is left-handed like your husband they will be able to help her learn to do a number of tasks like tying shoes and grasping pencils and pens to write. 

Unfortunately, writing and drawing with rolling pens or markers may be messier because lefties will end up with more of the ink color on their left hand.

The good news for left-handed writers is there are left-handed notebooks, which have the binding on the right, allowing for ease of use. Another trying activity can be cutting with scissors, unless they use a left-handed scissors, which can be tricky to find.

Additionally, left-handed children can adapt to sports in a few ways. If they start early enough, some will learn to do things right-handed, since it can be tough finding left-handed equipment like baseball gloves or golf clubs. 

If your child wants to play football or tennis, they will benefit from enlisting the help of another left-handed player unless they can adapt to playing right-handed. Fortunately, some sports — including hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer — are more neutral for hand preference. 

This column is intended to provide general information only and not medical advice. Contact your health care provider with questions about your child. Dr. Peter Dehnel is a board-certified pediatrician and medical director with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota. Send questions to