No Glitter for Under 3s

United Kingdom
February 19, 2016 9:59am CST
I was working in a private nursery today. It's one of the better ones. One of the girls with whom I worked was telling me about all the sensory play they've had out for the babies this week - sand, shaving foam, shredded paper, etc. She mentioned that they'd had glitter out and the manager told them they weren't supposed to. In all of my years working with children (which, if you count babysitting and work experience, is more than 20) I have never heard of kids not being allowed glitter. The reason given was that they could eat it or they could get hurt if it went in their eyes. 1. They eat it, they poop it straight out. It, literally, goes straight through. 2. How is sand allowed if glitter is not when that is surely worse to get in you eyes? 3. There are plenty of ways a child can hurt themselves. They could poke themselves in the eye with a pencil but they're allowed them. There was one child who was deliberately pulling hair to hurt other children.But that's all OK, they can't do anything about that (because that child's 'only a baby' so not allowed to tell her off or anything even though that particular child knew full well what she was doing). Kids were also climbing in (and almost falling out) of the tray used for sensory activities. I understand that some health and safety rules must be put in place but some do go a bit too far. You can't let kids be kids half the time. I got told off for letting two year old boys climb on me. I was flat on the floor so they couldn't fall, they were doing as two year old boys do, which was more safer than hitting each other. They were also playing nicely together, which is something they weren't doing previously. But never mind about their behaviour! I sometimes think it's not surprising that there are so many kids with behaviour issue when they are only ever told what not to do, and don't have adults role-modeling. Anyway, so I thought it was odd that the kids weren't allowed glitter when, in reality, is highly unlikely to do them any harm.
5 people like this
3 responses
@paigea (22011)
• Canada
19 Feb 16
I don't know what the problem would be with glitter; maybe there is a good reason. I wouldn't hesitate to use it with little ones at home though when I can closely supervise one child.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
20 Feb 16
I'm not sure there is a good reason. At least not any reason that wouldn't apply to a number of other things that aren't banned. If they weren't well supervised, that would be one thing (although they couldn't really do much other than make lots of mess, and they put stuff in mouths, etc. when they're well supervised anyway). These children are, by virtue of the legal ratios in childcare, supervised on a 1:2 or 1:3 basis. No more than many have at home.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22011)
• Canada
20 Feb 16
@marlina (72858)
• Canada
19 Feb 16
Personally i would not let a child under 3 play with glitter.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
19 Feb 16
Why not? I'm just curious. I used to work in a place for children 0 - 5. It was a 'stay and play' where parents came with children. Glitter was a mainstay of most sessions! My own kids didn't use glitter much but that's because I used to get annoyed at it hanging around everywhere!
@Corbin5 (103433)
• United States
19 Feb 16
I suppose if a product clearly has a warning on the label that the product should not be used by a certain age group and if something did happen due to the ingestion of the product or the product harming the eyes or whatever, the nursery or school would be in big legal trouble. I can see that glitter could cause eye irritation since little ones rub their eyes a lot. I also read an article about cases of "glitter lung" on the rise.
• United Kingdom
19 Feb 16
I've never heard of glitter lung. If there's anything in that then fair enough. Obviously, if there's a label saying that it's unsuitable for a certain age then it's best not to use it but having used glitter with children of all ages for 20 years, and the worst thing to happen was having it come out in a nappy, it seems odd that they've suddenly decided it's not suitable. Little ones do rub their eyes a lot (well, some do) but they rub their own snot into their eyes, they can rub sand in their eyes but there is no rule about that when it would surely be worse. That's the thing I don't understand. Of all the 'dangerous' things they can do, and all the things that could cause irritation in the eye, they decide not to use glitter for under 3s. Kids over 3 rub their eyes too!
• United Kingdom
20 Feb 16
@pumpkinjam I've just read up on glitter lung. It was an article in 'The Onion'! So it wasn't a serious article. The tiny glitter could be inhaled but would have to inhale an awful lot of it to have any detrimental effect. The larger stuff (glitter shapes, etc.) are too large to be inhaled.