Mum Warns About Unexpected Danger Of Postpartum Hair Loss: Hair Tourniquets

Her baby almost lost a toe because of a hair tourniquet.

A mum has issued a warning about the danger of hair tourniquets after her baby nearly lost a toe.

Katie Ellison, from Cambridgeshire, who blogs at Mummy And Daddy And Me Makes Three, shared photos of her son Wren’s injuries, which he sustained after one of her long strands of hair became wrapped around his toes.

“Previously I would have probably thought ‘oh seriously A&E, surely they could have removed it themselves?’” she wrote on 23 September.

“Our doctor said if we hadn’t noticed it when we did our baby boy may have even lost the worst affected toe.”

Ellison spotted the hair when she was getting Wren ready for bed. She changed him out of the babygro he’d been wearing during the day and saw his toes were blue and bleeding.

“We tried to get it out ourselves with tweezers but it was so swollen by this point that we just couldn’t see or get to the hair unwrapped around the worst toe,” she added.

Doctors had to cut into Wren’s skin and use tweezers to get the hair out. He is now recovering well, but is still sore.

“A lot of women experience postpartum hair loss (myself included - it gets everywhere which is a bit gross) and apparently these hairs can get in the washing machine and then find their way into sleepsuits,” she warned.

“Then your baby wriggles around and manages to get it round their toes. In our case he wasn’t even upset or in pain originally as I think his toes had gone numb.

Dr Helen Webberley, GP for Oxford Online Pharmacy told The Huffington Post UK hair tourniquets can be a common problem.

“Parents are often surprised at how strong and tight a piece of hair can become when it is wrapped around a babies digit, making it very tricky to remove,” she said.

“As the blood supply is compromised, the end of the finger or toe becomes swollen further impeding the removal of the hair. As the circulation is obviously vital for fingers and toes, if anybody spots anything like this then a trip to A&E is essential immediately.”

Scott Walker, from Kansas, said he was first alerted about the condition in January 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.

“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.”

Molly’s mum was able to remove the hair almost immediately with tweezers and a magnifying glass.

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