Nail care for kids is basically the same as for adults, but here are just a few notes & tips tailored for children:
*Use toenail clippers for toe nails. They are specifically designed in shape and form for toe nails (vs. just any pair of nail clippers), so they are best at cutting evenly and straight across. This reduces the risk of ingrown toe nails, which can be painful and become infected.
*Keep nails short & clean. As long nails are more likely to acquire germs and to break (which can be painful), it is recommended that kids keep their nails on the shorter side until they are older & more able to properly care for their own nails
*Teach your children not to pick at hangnails. If this habit is nipped in the bud early, it is less likely they will continue with this habit. Picking at hangnails can lead to infection, so teach kids not to pick, but to clip the hang nails (or if they are young, to have an adult such as a parent or a school nurse). If the child has picked or the hangnail is red or painful, apply a bit of antibiotic cream and a bandage.
*Manicures & pedicures are OK for kids, but be sure to check and make sure the salon is clean & uses properly sterilized equipment to prevent fungus & infections (we see this relatively often in our office, so this is a real concern for kids AND adults!). Artificial nails & UV hand lamps are not recommended for kids.
*Using nail polish remover more than twice per month can cause damage to nails, so try not to over use it. After using the nail polish remover, remember to moisturize the nails so that they do not become dry & brittle.
For More Information:
AAD – Nail Care (For Kids!)
AAD – Ingrown Toe Nails (For Kids!)