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What Is A Hair Tourniquet And How To Avoid Them

What Is A Hair Tourniquet And How To Avoid Them - Staff Picks - 2024

A Super important share from @mommy.labornurse on Instagram about hair tourniquets and their risks.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of this – because yes, IT’S A THING!⁣⁠⁣⁠

What is a hair tourniquet?

Pretty much exactly what it sounds like.⁠⁣⁠ A hair tourniquet is a condition where hair or thread becomes tightly wrapped around most commonly a toe, and occasionally a finger, genitals, or other body parts. This results in pain and swelling of the affected part.
When it comes to your baby, It’s when a strand of mama’s hair (or some other fibre) inexplicably wraps around one of the baby’s body parts and cuts off blood flow 😬⁣⁠⁣⁠
This leads to a hysterical baby and potentially serious complications. Things like nerve damage, skin damage, loss of function to that body part, and in rare cases – the need for amputation!
What body parts can this affect by a Hair Tourniquet?⁣⁠⁣⁠

  • Fingers⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Toes⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Tongue⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Genitals⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • & technically any appendage!⁣⁠⁣⁠

Symptoms of a hair tourniquet⁣⁠: ⁣⁠

  • Excessive crying for no reason⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Swelling and redness at the site⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Indentation on the body part where the hair is digging in⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Discolouration of the body part⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • Bleeding or broken skin, in more extreme cases⁣⁠⁣⁠

What should you do if a Hair Tourniquet happens?⁣⁠⁣⁠

  • Complete removal of the hair is essential to avoid serious complications. This can be QUITE difficult, it’s often best to take them to the doctor or ER⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • For at-home removal, Healthline suggests using a product like Nair to dissolve the hair⁣⁠⁣⁠
  • If the area is not too swollen, you can also attempt to remove the hair with needle-nose tweezers.⁣⁠⁣⁠

If you cannot remove the hair within a few minutes of trying – SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY ‼️⁣⁠

How to prevent a Hair Tourniquet?⁣⁠⁣⁠

  • Keep your hair tied back, especially when postpartum hair loss hits ⁣⁠⁣
  • When changing a baby’s diaper (especially boys!) be mindful to check for loose hairs that may have fallen⁠⁣⁠
  • Whenever dressing baby, brush away loose hairs and do a limb check – just to be safe!⁣⁠⁣

Bottom line 👉 If you ever feel like your baby is crying for no reason, and you’ve exhausted all the usual suspects – strip them down and check those little appendages! Hair tourniquets are scary!!⁣⁠⁣⁠
I’ve been lucky to avoid this so far! Any mamas have this happen to their babies?

Share your experience below 👇 👇⁣⁠

Originally posted 2021-03-11 17:50:10.


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  1. My water broke three weeks before i delivered. I was kept in the hospital until delivery. I delivered my baby 3 months early and he was 1 pound 13 ounces. He is now seven. 🖤🧘🏽‍♀️ i never knew some women don’t go into labor just because your water breaks.

  2. This happened to my 3 1/2 month old grandson. I had him on a blanket on the floor by a couch. He started crying and I looked down to see his finger wrapped in thin fibers preventing him from pulling his hand away from the couch. The underside of the couch has a synthetic fabric covering it. I was able to free him quickly. Couldn’t trim all the fibers from the couch, so I keep a rolled up blanket blocking the underside if he’s lying there.

  3. This literally happened to me a couple days ago.. my own hair wrapped around my toe and felt irritated all day with slight headache. I can only imagine the effect on a baby 😣😣😣

  4. I heard of it when I worked as an ED tech. One of my preemie twins ended up getting one on his toe. I could not get it off and took him to the ED. They had no idea what I was talking about, even when I showed them his toe. They wanted to do an X-ray and labs to find out why it was purple. I had to argue with three different doctors before one would just try to cut the hair off.

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Written by Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

Literally Every Time. (Artist Inna Sacali)

Literally every time. (Artist Inna Sacali)

I’m At 33+2 And Have Been Reading About Teaching Kids Proper Names For Body Parts As They Grow Up And This Just Cracked Me Up 😂

Perhaps Choose A different Name