How To Clip Your Child’s Nails

Have you ever clipped your child’s fingernails – or your own – only to find that you’ve created sharp edges that cause scratching and snagging? Going through the process of manicuring your nails only to discover they’re causing just as much trouble as they were when they were long can be a real frustration – especially if it means you have to get your child to sit still for another clipping session! The good news is that with a few simple tips you can get it right every time and help prevent scratching, snagging, and injuries in your children and yourself.


If you child is squirming while you manicure them, you’re more likely to make mistakes. Keep your kids occupied by involving them in the process, putting on a funny movie, or having someone read a story to them while you work. The more still they stay, the faster and more efficient your work will be.

Don’t Cut

For many parents, choosing to file on a weekly basis works better than using clippers at all. Children’s nails are soft and pliable, and they will often shape round and smooth with just a few passes of a good emery board.

Don’t Round Off

When you round off nails using clippers, you are likely asking for ingrown nails, hang nails, and sharp edges. Cut straight across using the contour in the clippers, then use an emery board to smooth out the edges and finish off the look of the nails. Again, for many kids you may want to skip the cutting process altogether. For adult nails, go straight across just above where the nail changes color and you’ll be hangnail, irritation, and pain free!

Keeping healthy, beautiful, and safe nails is easy when your child gets used to the process and is engaged by it. Don’t rush, take breaks if needed, and give your nails just as much love and you give your child’s!

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