Nail Scissors – Sensory Tips for Nail Trimming of your Child

Nail Scissors

Are you afraid to cut your child’s nails? If your child is sensitive to the senses, cutting his or her nails can be a very stressful situation for both of you. In fact, the word ‘stressful’ is an understatement to describe how frustrating and upsetting it can be. You are not alone and know that there are tips that can make life a little easier and less stressful. Read some useful tips below.

Baby Nail Scissors

Nail clippers can seem daunting. Try buying ‘baby’ nail scissor, they look better. Sell cute pet nail clippers (such as those in the shape of a dinosaur or dolphin). Reconsider your need for nail clippers. If your child does not tolerate nail clippers well, give them a chance. Perhaps a nail clipper with a rounded tip will irritate the child less.
Or try using a nail file. It will take much longer, but if the child tolerates you filing his nails instead of cutting them, it will be much less stressful for both of you.

Things to Do before clipping

Before cutting the nails, let the child squeeze the paste, play dough or a stress ball. You can squeeze the shoulders/hands or rub on a lotion. Hard work and deep pressure can help the child to be more sensitive. Ask the child to hold a vibrating toy before or during nail shaving. The vibration helps ‘desensitize’ the area to nail trimming, making it less damaging. You can also ‘brush’ each nail with a toothbrush before trimming it. Or try using a vibrating toothbrush (the pressure and vibration of the bristles can really help to sensitize).

Best Time to Trim Nails

Trim your nails after a shower, when they are softer (so they are easier to cut). You can also try cutting them while the child is in the bath. Press gently on the center of each nail before cutting. This will temporarily reduce the sensitivity.


Cut the nails while the child watches a favorite series or film. Depending on the age, dexterity and motor skills of the child, you can ask him/her to cut the nails alone. Sometimes controlling the situation can be helpful in case of sensory disturbances. A child may be nervous when someone cuts his nails because he has no control, but he may be calm if he does it himself. It is worth trying …. he may be surprised!

Be Careful and Sensible

Try not to cut your child’s nails too short. Your child’s problems cutting his nails may be due to the sensations he feels in his fingers after cutting them (changing the length of the nails can be very uncomfortable, ‘tricky’ or even painful).If the child sleeps well, you can try cutting his nails at night while he sleeps. However, be careful and sensible, because if your child wakes up at that time, it could be traumatic!


Remember that your child does not always have a problem cutting his nails because of his sensitivity to touch. He may not like the sound of the nail clipper when you cut his nails (ticking). You can let your child listen to his favorite music with headphones while you cut his nails or (as already mentioned) use a child’s nail clipper that does not make noise.

Good luck. Hang in there and know that everything will get easier. If you have ideas or suggestions that have helped your child and that were not mentioned above, leave them in the comments below to help other parents with the same problems. For more: