As the festive party season is upon us, a consultant plastic surgeon is warning parents of the danger of acrylic nails.
Nora Nugent who is based at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead is urging children to use nail varnish instead of artificial nails.
This summer the hospital’s paediatric ward saw a significant increase in admissions of children aged 12 years and under from Sussex, Surrey and Kent who had sustained traumatic and painful nail bed injuries.
This was a as a result of either catching their acrylic nails while playing or trapping their fingers in doors due to the longer nails. The children managed to pull, snap or trap their acrylic nail, ripping off their own nail underneath, requiring them to have surgery to repair the damaged nail bed.
With the lure of time off school for the Christmas holidays and upcoming parties, the hospital’s experts want parents to dissuade their children from having artificial nails. Unlike adults, children will be less conscious of minding their nails during play and what could happen if they catch them.
Ms Nugent said: “Repairing a damaged nail bed when the nail has been traumatically removed requires a surgical procedure. Once the nail bed has been repaired and any nail remnants removed, the patient has to have a dressing in place for two weeks to help maximise the chances of a new nail growing successfully, but there are no guarantees. We would advise children to use nail varnish in place of artificial nails. It is much safer, can be just as fun and colourful, and save them from potentially having an operation.”