Mini mani? What you need to know about safely painting your child’s nails

Posted in Safety.

Have you ever thought about what might happen if your toddler puts their cutely-painted nails in their mouth?

To mani or not to mani?

Some recent chatter online has raised some interesting points about the wisdom of using nail polish on small children with concerns that some nail polishes contain toxic chemicals that could be harmful.

Paediatrician Dr Katherine Williamson told website PopSugar that many products can be dangerous for littleness.

“Nail polish generally contains toxic chemicals which could be dangerous, because little ones often put their fingers in their mouths,” she explained. 

“Nail polish commonly contains phthalates, toluene, and formaldehyde. These chemicals can be listed by different names, and have been linked to skin irritations and allergic reactions, in addition to a variety of other health problems.”

  Read more about family health and safety:

Beware of nasty chemicals

While nail polish has not been conclusively linked to health issues, the chemicals in some nail polishes have. The chemicals Dr Williamson name-checks here are not to be mucked around with.

Toluene is also used to thin paint and in cleaning products. Continued exposure to this chemical can cause respiratory and nervous system issues.

Formaldehyde helps the nail polish to harden and has been linked to various health problems including cancer.

Phthalates have been linked to birth defects and are so nasty that some have been banned in Europe.

Kester Black Nail Polish

It’s easy to avoid nasty chemicals

If the nail polish you choose contains harmful chemicals, you don’t want children inhaling its fumes and you certainly don’t want them popping their painted fingers in their mouth.

Luckily there are some brilliant non-toxic alternatives to these nasty-laden nail polishes.

Kester Black nail polish is vegan, cruelty-free, made in Australia and 10-Free™. This means Kester Black polishes are super safe and do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal derived or tested ingredients. (They also have ace colours to choose from and are this writer’s super favourite!)

Sienna Nail Polish

Sienna nail polish is vegan and cruelty-free. It’s handmade in Byron Bay and free from formaldehyde, tosylamide, DBP formaldehyde resin, synthetic camphor, xylene and toluene.

Pure Poppet has formulated a range of water-based and non-toxic kids’ nail polishes – and other products for littlies – that are free from crappy chemicals and not tested on animals.

Pure Poppet nail polish

When it comes to cute mini-manis, remember it’s safety first – and keep your child away from nail salons where harmful fumes may lurk.


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