baby foot

Nail Care for Children and Teens

baby foot

Nail care for adults is often easy, since we have years of caring for our nails and know what to expect. Or at least, we know when to schedule the next manicure and pedicure to take care of all the problems! But what about children? What’s the best way to take care of their nails, and how can you gradually lead them toward complete independence and competence in caring for their nails and hands? We look at the path from childhood to their first experience at our Windsor salon.

Caring for Infants’ Nails

A newborn’s nails are often soft and flexible, which helps with trimming. But infants can often scratch themselves with long nails, so it’s very important to keep them clean and trimmed. Once the baby is older and has control of his or her movements, you can lessen the number of nail trimmings. At the beginning, trim fingernails once a week and toenails every other week.

Use a nail file or emery board to shorten the baby’s nails. This is the best method, since there’s no risk of cutting the baby’s skin. If you choose a nail trimmer, be sure to use one designed specifically for children, not adults. Cleaning the baby’s nails, hands, and feet during baths will also help when the time comes to trim the nails.

What Are Fingernails and Toenails?

This is an important question as you teach children how to care for their nails. It’s best for them to know what nails are so they understand the importance of caring for them. Simply telling them to cut their nails may get the results you want, but without the personal pride in taking care of themselves. They should be proud of their own nail care and the manicures and pedicures they receive in the future.

Begin by explaining that nails start in the nail root, which is hidden under the cuticle. Children can easily find their cuticles by looking for the small “U” shape on their nails. When cells at the root of the nail begin to grow, they push out the old cells.

The newly formed nail is pushed along the nail bed, which is the flat surface just under the nail. The nail bed has an intricate network of tiny blood vessels that feed it and carry away waste. This blood also gives your nails their pinkish color.

Since nails grow slowly – one tenth of an inch per month – it can take 3-6 months to completely replace a nail. This may be reassuring to children, since playing can sometimes tear or even tear out their nails. The nail isn’t gone forever; the body will simply need time to replenish the cells and grow a new one.

Teaching Independence

Children should begin cutting their nails with a nail scissors, which is often a more familiar shape to use than the traditional nail trimmers. They can use an emery board to sand the jagged edges, which will most likely occur as they learn to cut their own nails. Once they’re comfortable with the nail scissors and can cut the nails to an appropriate length and shape, introduce the nail trimmers.

Teach them to trim fingernails often, which will help to prevent biting them. Bitten nails are often open to infections, so trimming is a much better option. Keeping the hands and cuticles moisturized is also an important step. Toenails grow more slowly and won’t need to be trimmed as often. The nails on both the feet and hands should be cut straight across with slightly rounded edges.

Children and Manicures

Children, along with adults, enjoy manicures and pedicures, but the time that these start is up to the parents’ discretion. Some young children are capable of sitting still while the stylist moisturizes the hands and paints the nails. Other children need to wait til middle school before they are able to sit still long enough.

No matter what age they begin getting manicures, this is an excellent way to teach your children the enjoyment and importance of a good experience at their Windsor salon. They should learn how to tell the stylist what they want, and thank her at the end. Manicures and pedicures can also be used to reward good grades or good behavior, or as gifts for special occasions.

Playing with Color

Teens often want to play with color on their nails, choosing a garish shade of green or deepest black. No matter how good or awful the color, it’s best to let them experiment with the looks they like. But that doesn’t mean they should stop taking care of their nails. Black polish that’s chipping and cracked looks much worse than a nude shade of polish in the same condition.

Consider letting teens experiment with colors and designs as long as their nail health is paramount. This means continuing to moisturize the cuticles and removing polish as soon as it begins to chip.

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