One Kansas dad is on a mission to inform other parents of the dangers associated with hair tourniquet syndrome after he had a horrifying experience with his 5-month-old daughter, Molly.
Scott Walker, of Wichita, Kansas, recounted the incident in a Facebook post on Thursday, January 21 hoping that his story would help future parents determine when their child is simply being cranky or when there is something more serious going on.
“What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon, so I figured I’d share with my fellow parents out there,” Scott wrote.
He said he and his wife were eating lunch with their daughter when she started screaming. Scott said it wasn’t out of the ordinary for Molly to become cranky, but after trying everything they could think of to calm her, they realized something was wrong. After becoming so upset, Molly started to overheat, and to cool her down, her mother took off her socks. That is when they made the terrifying discovery. Molly had a strand of hair wrapped so tight around her toe that it was cutting off her circulation.
Hair tourniquet syndrome: Signs, symptoms and treatment https://t.co/1jvozFg5cz pic.twitter.com/ylYifMHPRl
— MummyPages Mummy (@LauraHaughMummy) February 2, 2016
“I was with the family over lunch and Molly was cranky and screaming–nothing out of the ordinary. As worked up as she was getting, she started to overheat, which prompted Jess to remove her socks and cool her down,” Scott explained. “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.”
Jess’s motherly instincts immediately kicked in, and she grabbed a pair of tweezers and a magnifying glass to remove the hair from Molly’s toe.
“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,” Scott wrote.
Along with his recount of the incident, Scott also shared a photo of Molly’s toe 45 minutes after the incident, and explained that the hair had cut all the way through Molly’s skin.
“This picture was taken about 45 minutes after the hair was removed,” Scott’s post continued. “Unfortunately, the hair managed to cut all the way through Molly’s skin, completely around her toe, but it could have been worse had it gone much longer untreated, or if the hair wasn’t accessible.”
Scott concluded his post by sharing the information his doctor had told him about hair tourniquet syndrome. He wrote: “the doctor told me, for future reference, to always check the toes if the baby is inconsolable. Just an FYI to any parents or care takers out there. “
— Scott Knapp (@DrSKnapp) September 29, 2015
Since Walker decided to share his story, his post has been liked nearly 40,000 times and shared more than 30,000 times. The post also has 22,000 comments with other parents describing similar incidents that happened with their young children. Walker told Buzzfeed that he never expected his post to get this much attention, but he is happy that the word is getting around about the dangers associated with hair tourniquet syndrome.
“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,” he said, adding that Molly is fine and is “being her normal happy self.”
[Image via Shutterstock]