Dad Shares Frightening Photo of Baby’s Foot to Warn Other Parents of a “Hair Tourniquet”

hair tourniquet feat

I usually find pictures of baby toes to be totally precious, but one dad recently shared a baby toe photo with the Internet that was absolutely terrifying—to educate other parents about the dangers of a “hair tourniquet”.

Kansas dad Scott Walker was out to lunch with his family when his 5-month-old daughter Molly went from cranky to inconsolable.

“Molly has been battling some colic and reflux issues for the past couple months, so being agitated is nothing unordinary, for her, but something seemed ‘off’ this time,” he told Buzzfeed.

Walker tells what happened next in a Facebook post:

Had a small scare this afternoon with Ms. Molly. What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon, so I figured I’d share with my fellow parents out there.

I was with the family over lunch and Molly was cranky and screaming–nothing out of the ordinary. As worked up as she was getting, she started to overheat, which prompted Jess to remove her socks and cool her down. 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.

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.

The doctor told me, for future reference, to always check the toes if the baby is inconsolable. Just an FYI to any parents or care takers out there.

Have you ever heard of a hair tourniquet? I hadn’t until last year my friend discovered that her fussy baby had one while we were sitting in church! Hair tourniquets are common yet not well known. They’re not only painful to baby, but if they’re not treated the toe can become infected or ultimately be lost to amputation. EEK!

So mamas and dads, take a cue from Molly’s parents. If your baby is crazy cranky, take off their socks and have a peek, just in case!

The Walkers are already hearing reports on their Facebook page of other hair tourniquets being caught in time just because they shared the photo. That’s the power of parents who speak out—and social media!

Has this ever happened to your child?


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.