PARENTS
04/02/2016 05:33 GMT | Updated 04/02/2016 05:59 GMT

Dad Shares Shocking Photo Of Baby's Toe To Warn Parents Of Dangerous Condition 'Hair Tourniquet'

A dad has shared a photo of his baby's toe to raise awareness of a "common" condition in children.

Scott Walker, from Kansas, said he was first alerted about the condition when he couldn't calm his five-month-daughter Molly down during a family lunch.

It wasn't until he realised Molly was overheating and took her socks off, that he saw a hair had been wrapped tightly around her toe.

Walker said this "apparently not uncommon" condition is called "hair tourniquet".

"Unfortunately, the hair managed to cut all the way through Molly's skin," Walker explained. "It was completely around her toe, but it could have been worse had it gone much longer untreated, or if the hair wasn't accessible."

Had a small scare this afternoon with Ms. Molly. What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon, so I...

Posted by Scott Walker on Thursday, 21 January 2016


Walker uploaded the post on 21 January to alert parents that may not have heard or known of this condition.

"Had a small scare this afternoon with Ms. Molly," he began the post on Facebook.

"I was with the family over lunch and Molly was cranky and screaming - nothing out of the ordinary.

"[The more] worked up as she was getting, she started to overheat, which prompted Jess [my wife] 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."

Walker said luckily for Molly, her mum was able to remove the hair almost immediately with tweezers and a magnifying glass.

The picture on the post was taken 45 minutes after the hair was removed.

As the hair had cut through the skin, the couple took Molly to the doctors.

"The doctor told me, for future reference, to always check the toes if the baby is inconsolable," Walker added.

"Just an FYI to any parents or care takers out there."

Hair tourniquet is a medical condition that usually arises in babies and small children when hairs and thread are lost loosely inside socks, according to EMedicene.

These hairs will tend to tighten when the baby wriggles.

Dr. Julie L. Gallombardo, a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at New York University Langone Medical Center, said the condition is "common".

"It is very painful, and it needs to be dealt with in an emergency," she told BuzzFeed News.

Walker's post has been shared 21,000 times in the two weeks since it has been posted. There have been nearly 20,000 comments, with many people tagging their friends and thanking Walker for raising awareness.

"I certainly never imagined the chain reaction that followed, but it’s great to know Molly’s story is bringing so much awareness to the parenting community," Walker told BuzzFeed.

Walker said Molly is now "doing great" and back to her normal self.

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