Hair tourniquet? Dad shares photo of baby’s swollen toe to warn parents of common hazard

WICHITA, Kan. -- A Kansas father has a warning for all parents after finding something strange on his infant daughter's foot.

Scott Walker said his daughter, Molly, was cranky, screaming and began to overheat, so his wife took off her socks. That's when they saw a hair wrapped tightly around her toe.

Walker shared a photo on Facebook to warn other parents. The photo was taken 45 minutes after the hair was removed with tweezers and a magnifying glass.

Walker wrote:

"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."

The medical term is called a hair tourniquet. It can cut through skin and cut off blood flow, according to experts.

A doctor told them that parents should always check a baby's toes because hairs can tangle around them inside socks.

Walker's post has been shared over 20,000 times.