STRATFORD — As the weather gets warmer and visits to local nail salons become more frequent, the Stratford Health Department is embarking on a new campaign to teach residents how to identify safe, and unsafe, nail salon practices.

“The goal of this health and safety initiative is to increase consumer awareness of safe salon practices to help minimize risk of illness or infection, while empowering individuals to speak up if they see something not being done,” said Andrea Boissevain, the Stratford health director.

Beginning on Tuesday, May 29, individuals can purchase a personal nail salon kit to take to and from the nail salon. Inside these travel kits, consumers will have their own nail file, pumice stone, nail buffer, cuticle cutter/pusher, alcohol swab for cleaning metal instruments and a wallet-sized card containing the four nail safety steps and contact information. The nail salon kits can be purchased for $15 at the Stratford Health Department, 468 Birdseye Street.

“Our sanitarians at the health department work hard to inspect our nail salons, and understandably, cannot be there at all times. We need help from the community to let us know when a violation is occurring and for them to insist on safe practices,” Boissevain said.

The department is also reminding consumers that there are four main steps they can take to stay safe: washing your hands, throwing out single-use items, making sure re-useable equipment is properly cleaned and sanitized, as well as waiting ten minutes for pedicure tubs to be sanitized.

Any additional questions can be sent to the department via email at nails@townofstratford.com, or by phone at 203-385-4090.

Those interested can follow the department’s #worththewait nail salon campaign, which will include general nail salon safety tips, on the department’s Twitter account, @StratfordHealthDepartmentCT, and on their Facebook page.

The Stratford Health Department is a nationally-accredited health department. It is the mission of the Stratford Health Department to improve the quality of life for our residents through the promotion of health and well-being, the prevention of disease and by assuring a clean and safe environment.