Hair tourniquet? Parents share story of baby’s injury after hair scare

Click to play video: 'Dad posts photo of baby’s toe as warning after hair tourniquet cuts through skin'
Dad posts photo of baby’s toe as warning after hair tourniquet cuts through skin
Parents Scott and Jessica Walker couldn’t console their almost five-month-old daughter Molly. They pulled off her socks and discovered a strand of hair had wrapped itself around her toe, cutting through her skin and cutting off circulation – Feb 8, 2016

Parents taking care of their newborn baby can relate: your baby is crying inconsolably and you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

As a cautionary tale to other parents, an American dad is sharing his story of what he discovered when he removed his daughter’s sock.

Scott and Jessica Walker were feeding lunch to their daughter, Molly, when she started to act up. The 19-month-old was crying, cranky and overheating so they decided to take off her socks to cool her down.

“What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon so I figured I’d share with my fellow parents out there,” Walker wrote in a Facebook post that’s now garnered 43,000 likes, 33,400 shares and 23,000 comments.

“That’s when we saw her toe. This is called a hair tourniquet, which is literally a strand of hair that, while inside a sock, unexplainably wraps around a toe so tight that it can cut through the skin and potentially cut off blood circulation,” he wrote.

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Luckily, his wife, Jessica, works in medicine and carefully removed the hair with tweezers and a magnifying glass.

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The photo was taken 45 minutes after the hair was removed.

“Unfortunately, the hair managed to cut all the way through Molly’s skin, completely around her toe, but it could have been worse had it gone much longer untreated, or if the hair wasn’t accessible,” Scott said.

Pediatricians warn that hair tourniquets could happen – parents with long hair could shed a strand that ends up in a baby’s sock, glove or diaper, for example. Babies also tend to grab at their parents’ hair.

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Hair tourniquets tend to affect infants who are about two months old, according to one study. Doctors urge parents to check babies’ fingers, toes and genitals just in case a knotted hair could be the culprit.

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