An Australian mother managed to save three of her child's toes all thanks to a household item.
Kristina Clarke, from Sydney, noticed something strange about her baby Bryleigh’s foot while changing diapers.
“I noticed her flinching when I touched her little foot,” Kristina told Babyology.
Kristina is no stranger to baby problems since she has two older children, Talea, 18, and Kohndi, 6. But the swelling on Bryleigh’s toes was something she had never seen before.
Hair was tangled around three of the girl’s tiny toes, restricting blood flow. A hair tourniquet occurs when a strand of hair becomes tangled around a toe and is surprisingly common in babies, according to Popsugar.
“I screamed to my husband Matthew to come and hold her while I grabbed her baby toenail clippers -- the first thing I thought of to cut it off,” Kristina told Babyology.
“I managed to cut a tiny bit off that [seemed] to be wrapped between two of them, but as I did this, I must of pulled it hard as it started to rip through the skin and made her start to bleed.”
At that point, Kristina was panicking since her child was born premature -- at just 32 weeks -- and her toes were so small.
“I started shaking and crying, the only thought going through my head was that if I couldn’t get this hair off, she would lose her toe,” she says.
Kristina took her daughter to Blacktown Hospital where a physician used a magnifying glass to try and remove the hair.
“She managed to get quite a bit off straight away, and we could see the tension had been relieved a bit,” Kristina says.
After a few hours, Bryleigh’s middle toe still hadn’t improved and she was transferred to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead where an orthopedic surgeon was waiting to assist in the hair removal surgery.
But right as they arrived, doctors knew exactly what to do: Apply hair removal cream.
“I could not believe it. We were shocked, amazed and scared all at once as within three minutes of application, there was an immediate improvement in the color of her middle toe,” she says.
Kristina commended both hospitals for the care they gave Bryleigh and now considers hair removal cream an essential item in her baby kit.
Dr. Jason Hort, medical director of emergencies at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, says parents should still seek professional medical attention when they notice swelling in their infant’s feet.
“Hair removal cream can be successful but not always,” Dr. Hort told Babyology.
"It’s not just hair that can do this, it could be thread from baby clothes or some sort of hidden material," Hort continued. "That’s why we always check over the whole baby if they present with irritability because it can happen and not be noticed by parents."