Nails in children: features of care
For adults, a manicure is a common thing, because we have been taking care of our nails for years, and we know what to expect from this. What about children? What you should pay attention to in caring for children's nails - you will find out in my article. :)
No, this is not a figment of your imagination: children's nails are really very flexible and easily deformed. And if you also take into account the fact that little fidgets are difficult to keep in one place, then taking care of your child's nails will be a daunting task. In my today's article, I have collected answers to the most interesting questions of parents about caring for children's nails. Hope it helps you and your kids! :)
Manicure for newborns
Even soft nails in newborns leave significant scratches on their sweet faces. Therefore, newborns need their first “manicure” a few days after birth. Although a baby's nails are long enough to scratch, most of nails are still firmly attached to the skin of the fingers. Therefore, using nail scissors or tweezers is quite difficult and dangerous, because you can injure a child. For these purposes, I recommend using a nail file during the first few weeks of a baby's life. Since the nails are quite soft, it will be enough to file it from the bottom up (and not along, as is customary for adults), in order to shorten the nail.
Babies' fingernails grow fast enough that you will likely need to trim it two to three times a week. Toenails also grow at a decent rate, but since it's much harder to scratch your face, you can trim it less often. :)
After the baby grows up a little, and it will already be easy to “pick up” the nail, you can switch to using scissors and tweezers. Unfortunately, no matter how careful you are, many well-prepared parents end up scratching or cutting their child's finger at least once. If you accidentally cut your baby, wash the wound with soap and water under running water to prevent infection, and press a clean cloth over the cut with a little pressure to stop the bleeding. Avoid band-aids: it's a choking hazard for babies, as babies spend most of their time with their fingers in their mouths. Fortunately, in rapidly growing children, wounds heal quickly. :)
I know that many mothers do manicures to their babies while they sleep. But some doctors advise cutting nails at a time when they just woke up to get them used to the procedure of "home manicure". This practice will help avoid some of the baby's later nail-shortening crises.
If you're feeling the urge to finish your child's manicure and pedicure with clear nail polish, be aware that children often put their fingers in their mouths. Unfortunately, the nail polish you use may contain toxic hydrocarbons such as toluene and formaldehyde. But even non-toxic nail polishes will still contain dyes, and just because a manufacturer uses the term "non-toxic" doesn't mean the product is completely harmless. The only exception is edible nail polish, which I wrote about in my previous articles. But if you want to completely protect your child from any chemicals - do not use any coating for children's nails at all.
As the winter season approaches, don't forget to moisturize your baby's hands and be sure to protect baby's delicate skin with gloves or mittens. This is true for both toddlers and older children.
Ingrown nails in children
If you think that the problem of ingrown nails is not familiar to children, then you are deeply mistaken. Even in infants, the sides of the big toe can easily grow into the skin. Luckily nails are very soft and soaking it in warm water will help you lift the nail off the skin and cut it off to avoid infection.
For older children, doctors recommend following certain rules, in addition to proper trimming of nails, in order to prevent ingrown:
- When buying shoes, leave enough space for your toes. Especially considering how fast kids grow. Shoes that are too tight can lead to painful ingrown toenails.
- Make sure your child changes socks daily. Clean socks help keep your feet healthy, but poor hygiene can lead to nail infections.
- Wear flip-flops for your child in public places. Walking barefoot in public places will certainly not affect an ingrown toenail, but if it does, it can aggravate the situation and lead to nail infections, athlete's foot, or plantar warts. Protect your child's feet by wearing flip flops or shower sandals in public areas such as beaches, swimming pools, locker rooms, campsites, and hotel bathrooms.
How to wean a child to bite his nails
Of course, one of the most acute and urgent problems that parents face is the child's bad habit of biting his nails. This is not only socially unacceptable, but also quite dangerous. The skin around the nails may begin to bleed and infection is likely to enter the body. The way to viruses and infections in the children's body is also open due to the fact that they constantly put their fingers in their mouths, and it's not always clean. Nail biting can also negatively affect tooth growth and gum health. Therefore, it is so important that parents notice the problem in time and solve it with the slightest resistance.
There are many ways to wean a child from this habit, so I have collected the most optimal and effective for you:
- Brevity is the soul of wit. Everything is simple here: if the nails are always cut short, but there will be nothing to gnaw. :)
- Distract. Give your child something in their hands, or just take his hands in yours when you see that the child is biting his nails.
- Break the habit. Stick a bright plaster on the fingertips of the “rodent” or coat it generously with hand lotion. An unpleasant taste will attract the attention of the child, as well as help moisturize damaged cuticles.
- Suggest an alternative. Give your child raw carrots, biscuits, crackers, or even just a plastic straw when you notice that the child is tempted to bite his nails again.
- Lighten up. Regular sports activities such as jumping, boxing, or even yoga for kids can help your child deal with the stress that causes them to bite their nails.
- Praise and encourage. Constant criticism and punishment can only increase the negative psychological state of the child. Instead, focus on the positive and praise your child often when he doesn't attack his nails. You can also come up with a reward system for every day without bitten nails. So the child will have an additional incentive to part with his addiction. :)
And of course, finally, let me remind you that, first of all, the child repeats after you! Therefore, often show your child how to properly care for yourself, by your own example, and be beautiful with the whole family! :)