They move around quite a lot starting from the toddler years. They’re often playing where dirt, germs, and other harmful microorganisms abound.
They may not yet have the ability to take care of themselves and so parents need to exercise strict supervision at all times. Their feet take a beating nearly every day, including their toenails.
Ignoring this area can lead to problems such as toenail fungus which is very irritating and is difficult to cure. A proactive stance is ideal so as to maintain good health.
Tips to Keep Children’s Toenails Fungus-free
1. Cut the toenails regularly
Nails grow at different rates so they need to be checked from time to time to see if they already need to be cut. Parents should reach for the clippers every two weeks for the toes and a bit more frequently for the fingers.
Diligence is required as kids tend to run around on the dirt and particles could easily get trapped between the nails and the nail bed. Cutting straight across is the way to go to avoid the occurrence of ingrown nails. File the edges to prevent them from getting snagged in socks and similar items.
2. Have the children wear proper footwear
Kids should use the appropriate footwear at all times. This will depend on where they are and how much they have grown.
Inside the house, they should wear slippers instead of going barefoot. This serves as insulation from the cold floor as well as a barrier against germs and fungi. Outside, they can wear sandals which would provide their feet with great air circulation. If using shoes, look for materials that are comfortable and high in quality such as leather.
3. Keep the feet clean
Children like to play and explore places, so they often come home with soiled feet. Parents must see to it that the kids take a nice bath or at least wash their feet thoroughly every day. Use a gentle soap that is suitable for young skin. Rinse well to avoid residues that could cause irritations. Pat everything nice and dry with a soft clean towel. Make sure to wipe the moisture on hard to reach areas like those between and under the toes.
4. Use foot powder or cream
After washing the feet, add extra protection by using anti-fungal foot powder.
This is especially helpful if the children are going to be wearing shoes for the rest of the day. The powder will prevent excessive sweating and infections. Choose a good brand with effective ingredients. If unsure, ask a doctor or another healthcare professional for advice. Sometimes the skin can be very dry due to the weather or other conditions and it is better to use a foot cream instead. It should be able to do what powders can with the added benefit of moisturizing the skin.
5. Teach them how to do things independently.
Taking care of children’s toenails should become a habit. Try to do the things mentioned on a regular basis to get a hang of the techniques. In time, the kids will become comfortable with these and may even ask for them when they are due. It is important to tell them why these steps are needed so that they will understand and appreciate what is being done. Once the children are old enough, let them try to do each thing by themselves. Explain the proper methods to keep them safe, particularly when using the nail clippers.