A Kansas dad issued a viral warning to other parents about the dangers of hair tourniquets.
Do you have a small child and need something new to worry about? Well, look no further because the internet has got you covered. A Kansas dad’s Facebook post is going viral this week after he shared a cautionary tale about hair tourniquets: hairs (or strings) that get wound so tightly around a child’s fingers or toes that they cut off blood circulation.
In his post, Scott Walker writes that he and his family were out to lunch when his 19-week-old daughter, Molly, began crying and screaming, despite her parents’ attempts to soothe her. As she got more and more worked up, she started to overheat, so her mom removed her socks, and that’s when they noticed a hair wound tightly around Molly’s toe. Writes Walker:
“Luckily for Molly, she has a mother with medical emergency superpowers who was able to remove the hair with tweezers and a magnifying glass within a few minutes. This picture was taken about 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.”
In the future, Walker adds, their doctor told them to always check appendages if a baby is inconsolable — that includes the genital area if you have a boy. You can also check socks and mittens for any hairs or strings before you put them on your baby, and you can wash their clothes separately to ensure they don’t pick up any stray mom hairs from our post-pregnancy shedding.
Since Walker’s post went up, it’s been shared an astonishing 22,000 times, and he says people have even messaged him to tell him they were able to prevent similar incidents with their own kids after reading his post. Hundreds of people have left comments on Walker’s post relaying their experiences with hair tourniquets, including one woman who wrote, “This happened to our youngest, but we had to take her into emergency because the hair went so deep and wrapped around her bone. Please watch for it!”
Despite the relative frequency with which hair tourniquets occur, it seems to be one of those “hidden dangers” parents don’t really know about until it happens to them. I certainly hadn’t heard about it until it happened to my own newborn, though his was much less severe. Walker’s post is a great way to raise awareness about the potential danger and prevent other babies and toddlers from going through the painful process of having a hair wrap around their appendage that tightly before anyone figures out what’s wrong.
Even though it seems like the internet gives us a new thing to panic about every week, it’s a great resource for sharing stories like this and giving other parents a heads-up. Hair tourniquets aren’t the most serious injury in the world, but it’s still something to look out for. Judging by the overwhelming response to Walker’s post, it’s a tip lots of parents were grateful to read. Kudos to him for having the foresight to share it with the rest of us, and wishes of speedy healing to Molly’s tiny toe.