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Left-handed ink writing

About 10% of children write with their left-hands. This is an issue when using a fountain pen (liquid ink). Left-handers can drag their hand through the drying ink and smudge it. There are writing tips for lefties. Do you have left-handed children?

left hander

Start at the top

The Department for Education does not record how many children are left-handed in primary and secondary schools, because being left-handed is not considered a disability. Expect around 10% of UK school children to write with their left-hand.

The smudge myth

Fountain pens use liquid ink which typically takes longer to dry than ballpoint ink. Left-handed people are often discouraged from using fountain pens because they will smudge the ink. Modern fountain pens use rigid nibs that write smoother for all kinds of writers.

Tips for left-handed writers

  • Place your paper to the left of your body. You can easily see what you are writing.
  • Tilt the paper so that your arm is at a right-angle to the bottom edge of the paper. 
  • Write with your hand below the writing line and with your wrist straight. It's well worth the effort.
  • Use your right hand if needed to steady your paper, so the paper is less likely to move while writing.
  • Try to pull your pen across the paper rather than pushing it, to avoid scratching the pen nib.
  • Hold the pen between the thumb, index and middle fingers. It's uncomfortable at first, but well worth it
  • Some people write on a sloping surface to stop them resting on the paper and smudging the ink.

Parents with left-handed children will know that their kids do some things differently. Don’t try to change them to do it right-handed. Key to writing with a fountain pen is that left-handers need to make a correct grip with their thumb, index and middle fingers on the pen (mirror image of the right-hander’s grip) and keeping their hand below the writing line.

ChildMax continues to ensure your salary and pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave, caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.



Date: 24 October 2022 by Max Robinson