What are Baby Scissors?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Baby scissors are small scissors, usually about three to four inches (7.62-10.16 cm) long at most with an even shorter cut surface. The actual blades may measure no more than an inch (2.54 cm) or so, and the majority of the length of the scissor is devoted to the handles. These scissors are useful tools for helping to trim a baby’s nails, though some people prefer to use small nail clippers that are designed for little hands instead.

Newborn, infant and toddler finger nails grow very quickly.
Newborn, infant and toddler finger nails grow very quickly.

Most baby scissors have blunt tips, which help to avoid cutting a small child’s sensitive skin with the tips. A number of them also have a slight upward curve in the scissor blades, which may make it less likely to cut a baby’s skin when trimming nails. These scissors don’t prevent all accidents and even the most careful mom in the world can accidentally cut a baby’s finger while trimming his or her nails with baby scissors. Careful cutting straight across, especially right after baths when nails are softest, can help reduce likelihood of injury.

It also helps if baby scissors are well-sharpened. Even though sharper scissors might be considered by some to be “more dangerous,” the reverse is true. Scissors that are not adequately sharp run more risk of accidents because they require more force to cut, and any injuries resulting from dull scissors are more likely to be severe because the skin is not cut evenly and takes longer to heal. Many people spend a little more to get scissors that are finely sharpened to avoid this issue.

It’s easy to find lots of baby scissors in stores devoted to selling baby items, and they may also be sold by well-known scissor companies online or in stores. Sometimes such scissors come in baby grooming kits or baby bath kits and other times they are sold alone. Price on baby scissors can vary from a few US Dollars (USD) to $20-30 USD for well-known brands.

While the primary use of baby scissors is to trim baby fingernails and toenails, they can have other applications. They can remove annoying tags off baby clothes or trim a few stray hairs as needed. Though designed for babies, in a pinch these scissors will work for lots of home uses. They can trim adult nails or cut threads for sewing purposes. They’re not particularly useful for large tasks like cutting paper because of their short blades.

If baby scissors do get used for other things around the home, it might be a good idea to sterilize them and coat them with rubbing alcohol prior to reusing them to trim a baby’s nails. This is good advice even if the scissors are dedicated only to a baby’s personal needs. A quick soak in rubbing alcohol prior to each nail trimming session can help eliminate any bacteria that may have accumulated on the scissors since their last use.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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