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Artificial Nails


bugbabe
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Hi everyone

 

Please can I have your practices and opinions regarding artificial nails and infection control?

 

We are basically following healthcare professions guidance at present (apart from banning false nails all together)

 

At present we say that nails should not protrude from the end of your finger and if you choose not to take off your stones rings or are wearing artificial nails then we insist gloves are worn during snack time.

 

One member of staff likes to have them longer and is upset that she should be asked to wear them shorter. She would rather wear gloves all day than change the length of her nails.

 

We recently had an environmental health inspection and he agreed about the artificial nails and how we do things.

 

Do you allow them and do you have a guideline in how long they should be?

 

Have done a quick search but cant really find anything. Thank you

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don't think any of my staff have every bothered with them. But I can imagine your concern. I feel false nails or not, all nails should be kept short, apart from a hygiene point of view, what about the possibility of catching them on a child, on their face or while you are changing the children for any reason.

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Do you differentiate between artificial nails that are above a certain length, or do you ask staff to keep their own nails cut short too?

 

And do you differentiate between artificial nails bought in a shop that are applied with glue and are temporary, and those that are applied by a nail technician in a nail bar and are more or less permanent?

 

Maz

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I have a friend who is a midwife and has very long nails (about 1.5cm past the end of her fingers) and apparently it is acceptable because they are her own and of course she wears gloves lots anyway. It does bring tears to my eyes when I look at them though.

 

I would not just worry about a child being caught but about the member of staff being injured if their nails get caught. Can they participate fully in activities I wonder?

 

I can see why you would want to but can you insist on a particular length of nails or is that discrimination?

 

Not point of view, just a few scribbled thoughts really :o

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No differentiation with regard to length between natural, stick on or glued on.

All the same, not to be seen when you look at the palm of your hand.

 

The only difference being anything artificial on your hands, then you wear gloves at snack time

 

Health care workers as far as I am aware in general are not allowed them for infection control reasons. IMHO I cant see how this is discrimination, it is for the safety of the patients.

 

We are dealing with a priority group afterall.

 

p.s. She actually says they are less sharp (sorry poor english) than natural nails.

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p.s. She actually says they are less sharp (sorry poor english) than natural nails.

 

 

I really wouldn't know, but would suggest that her argument on that level is worthless - this is HER personal choice to wear them long, if her employer says otherwise, she must accept that or give up her job surely, are her nails worth that? If you are term time only setting, she could have them as long as she wishes during holidays.

 

I like wearing high heels - i wouldn't wear them to work though however much I prefer them, I like to wear make up - but I don't wear very much to work, she really does need to see sense here, if you want shorter nails on your staff I feel you must insist.

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When I play netball we have our nails inspected at every match. They should not be visible past the fingertips when held up in case they injure another player. If you could see my nails, cut off with nail clippers by the light of floodlights, at every angle imaginable.

 

I don't think nails should be longer than the finger tips. We don't have a policy though.

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I have artifical nails, not long but short and i would not be happy if i had to stop having them done, i dont smoke so its my treat to myself every month, its part of who i am, and ive had them for years!

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Am I the only one here who doesn't see a problem with nails being worn long? I'm not talking about anything excessive here (1.5cm is a bit much!) but reasonable length nails, whether real or artificial surely aren't that much of a concern that they need to be banned altogether. I've worked with children for years in different roles and never has anyone mentioned anything about nails or nail policies. My nails are natural, and palm upwards you can see between 1 and 3mm of nail per finger.

 

Catching them on children is very rare. In fact, I don't think I ever have, certainly I've never caused a child injury with them (and yes, natural are much sharper than salon applied false nails). As for health and safety, good handwashing and checking for dirt/scrubbing under the nails should surely be sufficient (gloves during snack time if you're really that concerned). We are not health care professionals. In general we are dealing with healthy children or those with normal childhood illnesses, which is not the same as dealing with seriously sick people on an minute by minute basis so I don't think the same rules should apply at all.

 

Personally I can see why she is upset, I would not expect to have to cut my nails just because I worked with children. If she was wearing them at a ridiculous length I could see why you would ask her to reduce the length, but just wearing them a couple of mm past the fingertip doesn't seem at all excessive or dangerous to me.

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In hospital we arent allowed to wear nail varnish or rings with stones because of infection control. i can ask tomorrow about length but I would expect long nails can harbour germs more as well as being a possble danger to yourself, if they catch and break and to patients.

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Well as far as i see it, im not doing major surgery to the children, ive not hurt anyone with them, and they are probably alot cleaner and look nicer than some real ones ive seen! :o

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Guest tinkerbell

Iv'e had artificial nails for years too.Never been a problem at my school,I teach r/yr1.The children love them especially when I put glitter nail varnish on!

 

Tinkerbell x :o

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I do feel that there really is no need to have the same rules as a health care workers ( hospital etc) .

 

the environment and care is totally different, people in hospital are already vulnerable and need the added protection from picking up yet another problem though poor hygiene...

 

we are dealing with healthy, active young people who do not need any more protection.. if we continue they will not build their own immunity as they grow causing issues for them when they get older..we all managed to survive very well without the anti bac gels and all the other things we do to ensure cleanliness...

 

It never worried me about nail length, real, false or any other issue. my only concern was that the children were safe, and if I am honest they can be scratched just as easily with short nails as long ones... in fact when longer you are more aware of them and often more careful..

 

Washing hands well should be more than adequate, it concerns me the message we are giving these children if we wear gloves for serving food and other things too... Ok in the kitchen and preparing if you really must and if H&S dictates that you must.. but otherwise... i do wonder where it will all end.

 

what do you really think artificial nails hold that real ones don't?

 

Inge

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Sorry, I have to butt in here and say that I agree with Inge. Apart from the fact that my nails are probably the longest (real) nails in my setting - I would never dream of telling people what length to wear their nails. Mine are just as clean as the next persons, so are my Deputy's who often has acrylic tips. In 15 years of working and having 4 children of my own plus a g/daughter,I have never scratched a child. The only stipulation possibly would be dont prepare food with nail varnish on (flaking) but that could just as easily apply to short nails as well. I think doing the job we do I too woul dbe a bit miffed about cutting my nails so short.

I think some common sense has to apply here, as others have said we aren't health workers and really do need to start to get a grip on some of these 'anti germ' things that are being set up. I too am growing a little concerned about the message we are giving out to young children.

Edited by lynned55
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i wouldnt even dream of telling any of my staff that they must wear there nails a certain length. its personal choice, as long as they are not affecting her rol in the setting. next we will policies telling us how to wear our hair, what clothes to wear,what make up etc

Edited by Guest
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i work as a TA i wear false nails becuase they look better and I as a porfessional I feel more professional in my appearance? If someone had long nails that were real no one would see it as a problem? The fact that they are fake and its obvious does not mean it should be treated any differently?

 

What does get me is that I feel that just because I work with children my whole life seems to be taken up by this! Are there any parts of my life that I can actually feel I can do something without thinking, " will my head agree with this?". its ridiculous!

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Guest MaryEMac

I must admit that I agree with the last 3 comments. We work with children because we enjoy the job, and that is what it is , a job, not a way of life. How can I tell my staff what length their nails should be when they are all old enough and sensible enough to make their own decisions? As Clare says, we will be advising on hairstyles next.

 

Mary

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I too agree with the last 4 comments, my natural nails are deemed to be long by previous comments. I have never (I touch wood as I say this) scratched a child in the 10 years that I have been in my job. I do not think that you can tell staff that they can't wear their nails how they like, obviously within reason.

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Well I have natural, short (ish) nails- which grow very quickly.

I've been following thiis thread and in the short time its been going- my nails have gone from not being seen palm up, to now showing 1-2mm and I'm certainly not going to cut them tonight!

 

xxx

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ok here goes (probably gonna upset a few people here).....

Im the manager of a very successful 120place nursery and have very long serving staff.

It is a writen rule that false/acrilic nails are not worn at any time. This has come from two incidents I have witnessed over the years.

The first was when I was a student and a lady ripped off a false nail when picking up a piece of equipment. She took her own nail with it and to say there was a lot of blood is an understatement. We were working with 4yr olds and alot of them were traumatised. We had parents coming in saying their child was having nightmares about the teacher 'chopping her finger off'!!

The second was when I worked in a baby unit. One day a staff member noticed a baby coughing / choking on something and when the item was fished out of her mouth, low and behold it was another members false nail that had fallen off and she hadn't even noticed!!

So yes I may be a dragon but If the staff dont like the rules they have no need to work here. Sorry safety is paramount.

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So yes I may be a dragon but If the staff dont like the rules they have no need to work here. Sorry safety is paramount.

But presumably this is made plain to applicants during the interview process so is one of the terms and conditions of the job? As with all things it is much easier to have a blanket policy that is not open to personal interepretation.

 

You've all given me lots to think about - but I can't stop now because I'm off to have my nails done! :o

 

Maz

 

PS Don't worry about upsetting people, Moo1 - you're entitled to your viewpoint and your policy clearly works in your setting. We're not the kind of people to assume we know better! xD

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Thank you for all your comments, they were all duly noted

 

As I said before, the question was about artificial nails, but as you cant discriminate, the nail length issue is for all nails in the setting, real and fake! Although no one else wears their nails long.

 

And as a matter of note, my staff have to tie their long hair back when dealing with snack too!

This was a recommendation by our environmental health officer and was advised on a recent food hygiene course.

 

I asked our EYA about artificail nails and long nails and she said it was a decision we had to make ourselves. I decided that the issue had been up to discussion long enough and that all nails have to be of a reasonable length, and no longer that your finger (looking from the palm).

 

Staff were given time to acclimatise to this, but said they didnt need it.

 

So it will be written in to our policies.

 

p.s. staff job descriptions say they can be changed at any time.

 

Thank you all for taking the time to reply and the fors and against opinions gave me lots to consider

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Hi Happy Maz, Yes all staff are made aware of the rules on interview and as with most things here is clearly written in the policy / contract handbook......

 

And just to reiterate my dragon esqness (if such a thing haha) alongside the false nail rule is :

 

1> no nailpolish

2> hair to be tied back

3> no excessive jewellery

 

and most serious of all........

 

4> visable lovebites result in being sent home without pay!! :o (only had to do this once and she still wotks for me 5yrs later xD )

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