Nursery nurse

Risk level

Runny noses can mean dry hands

As a nursery nurse you can be on the receiving end of lots of hugs from strong little arms. This can be a wonderful job that gives so much back to anyone wanting to work with children. But you may not realise that it can also be tough on your skin: tables, bottoms and noses all need wiping every day, and both small and big grown-up hands need washing.

What are the risks?

Meticulous hygiene is vital when changing nappies, washing your hands, washing children's hands, and preparing food and snacks in quick succession. In some nurseries, the job includes cleaning, which involves strong detergents and contact with water. This regular contact with moisture and water dries out the skin and can easily lead to hand eczema if you are sensitive.

Prevention and avoidance

It can be difficult for a nursery nurse to avoid wet work altogether as you rarely have the option of wearing gloves or avoiding some duties altogether. On the other hand, you can protect yourself by rubbing in unperfumed hand cream so that your skin doesn't dry out. If cleaning is part of your job, use protective gloves.

If you suffer from eczema or did so when you were little (atopic eczema), you should think carefully before deciding to become a nursery nurse, as the work can cause it to come back or get worse.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions or want to know more about allergy and eczema when working as a nursery nurse, get in touch with your school nurse or careers adviser.