A mum was shocked when her four year old daughter returned from childcare with a temporary henna tattoo on her arm.

Sharing on Mumsnet, the mother asked other parents what they thought.

“When my husband picked up our daughter (4) from nursery, one of the staff said she had drawn her  initials in Henna on our daughters hand because she insisted,” wrote the mum, identified only by her username Pencilcase123.

“Hubby did not complain. I am baffled as to why the nursery would have Henna out in the first place.

“It is brown Henna and I don’t think it is particularly dangerous but I am quite miffed that nursery staff thought it was ok to give my 4 year old a temporary tattoo. Would you complain about this?”


Other parents on the forum agreed with the concerned mum, saying the nursery should have sought consent.

We do know that numerous children have reacted to henna in the past resulting in some nasty chemical burns.

Would you be shocked if your child returned from childcare or school with a henna tattoo?

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  • That definitely needed permission. Children ask for lots of things and parent consent required for a reason. This professional should have thought about this as henna is it an every day childcare paint!


  • So strange that they would do this without parents permission. I wouldn’t be happy if it was my child.


  • I would be furious if this were done to my child & take it further with a formal complaint to the Department’s Early Childhood Education Directorate & Police. My reason for doing this is if a child has an allergic reaction to the chemicals in the Henna it can kill them & I would also file an assault charge via the Police. No child carer has the right to do anything to a child that could cause harm & the centre should have known better plus obtained parental permission.


  • I would not have been happy with this. Henna has caused some reactions on skin and I would be concerned for a 4 year old’s soft and young skin.


  • Face paint is fine but henna – no way!


  • Yeah I get it they need consent for everything these days but is it really that bad? People don’t think twice about face painting!

    • There has been bad side effects from face painting and some of the products used are made in Aust. too. There was previously a media announcement warning people to check the origin of the product. Unfortunately I didn’t write down the brand name.


  • That is definitely something they should get permission for first. Why were they using henna there anyway.


  • Definitely anything done without my permission on my child will make me furious and angry.


  • Not the sort of thing they should be doing at childcare.


  • I think the parents should have been asked first. I do understand that it is temporary, but it does last for a while.


  • I would also be unhappy if this was done without my agreement first. No matter how much the child insisted she wanted it, I don’t think it’s right. If the child insisted to get out of the centre, would they also oblige?


  • They should’ve asked first.


  • The child insisted? So they do whatever the kids want? I think for something like that they should get permission from the parent/caregiver. I didn’t realise Henna could cause burns etc. I don’t know much about it.


  • I would be happy for my child to have Henna. However, I know that some children do have allergies to it and other people despise tattoos in general and may see Henna as a promotion of tattoos. As such, I think seeking approval first is important.


  • I would be angry about this as you can have an allergic reaction to henna and both my kids have allergies and eczema


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