When baby Molly became irritable and upset, her parents initially put it down to normal baby behaviour. It was only when they began to undressed her that they realised her cries were being caused by something completely unexpected.
Molly’s father, Scott Walker, took to Facebook to issue a warning to other parents after he discovered that his daughter was suffering from a “hair tourniquet,” a painful condition in which a stray hair wraps itself around a body part, such as a finger or toe.
According to Walker’s post, Molly was “cranky and screaming,” and her bad mood caused her to become very hot and bothered. In an attempt to cool her down, Molly’s mother, Jessica Walker, removed the baby’s socks — and discovered that one of her toes was red and swollen.
On closer inspection, they noticed that a hair had wrapped itself around the infant’s tiny digit, cutting off the circulation. Walker describes how his wife had to remove the hair using a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers.
The concerned dad added: “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 photograph he shared was taken 45 minutes after the hair was removed, indicating how damaging a hair tourniquet can be if left untreated for a long period of time. In the worst cases, it has been known to cause infection and tissue death.
What is a hair tourniquet?
According to medical website Baylor Scott & White Health, a hair tourniquet is most commonly found in babies under 4 months as mothers tend to experience increased hair loss soon after giving birth. As well as wrapping around a finger or toe, hair tourniquets may also occur around the penis, scrotum, labia, wrist, or ankle.
So, the next time your baby is crying inconsolably, make sure you check for a hair tourniquet – you never know what you might find.