A father raises awareness of a rare, yet potentially serious, health concern that his family experienced with his infant daughter.
After an incident with his daughter, Molly, Scott Walker discussed the manner in which a seemingly common problem could have progressed into a relatively uncommon tragedy.
“I was with the family over lunch and Molly was cranky and screaming--nothing out of the ordinary,” Walker posted on Facebook. “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.”
Molly was suffering from a hair tourniquet. According to Medscape, hair tourniquet syndrome is a rare condition that involves a piece of hair, thread, or another thin material to become wrapped around a body part. This may lead to injury, pain, and sometimes amputation of the affected appendage. This condition, which tends to occur in young children, tends to affect toes and male genitalia. Infants under four months of age are considered to be at an especially high risk because of their mothers’ postpartum hair loss.
“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,” Walker continued.
He posted a photo of Molly’s toe about 45 minutes after the hair had been removed. Although he mentioned that the piece of hair cut through his daughter’s skin, the situation could have been worse if the hair tourniquet had been untreated for a longer period of time.
“The doctor told me, for future reference, to always check the toes if the baby is inconsolable,” Walker advised to parents and caretakers.
The Facebook post has been shared more than 10,000 times. Many comments are filled with stories of similar incidents, warnings to tagged friends, and advice from those who have experienced this condition.
“It's so common in footie pajamas,” said Kim Pulliam. “I always turn my son's inside out before putting them on him.”
“When my nephews were born, that was something [my mother] shared,” said Sandy Kinsler, whose mother is a pediatric nurse. “ALWAYS check toes, fingers, folds, ears, mouth and nose for foreign material.”