Being a new mom can be exciting, overwhelming and a little bit scary. Seeing your newborn smile makes all of the sleepless nights worth it. But hearing them cry can send a wave of panic through your body, especially when you’ve tried everything you can think of to calm them down and it’s not working. There’s one specific dangerous situation that can end up being the reason for a baby’s cries. This is something that every parent should be aware of.

Young parents Scott and Jessica Walker of Wichita, Kansas ran into this situation with their daughter. She was crying all day and there seemed to be no apparent reason why she couldn’t calm down. Mom Jessica eventually took off her daughter’s socks, hoping it would soothe her. After taking off the socks, she noticed that her daughter’s toe was red and swollen.

A Warning To Parents

It turned out that a small hair had twisted around her daughter’s toe. It might sound hard to believe, but it’s a common problem. A hair can easily get caught in a child’s sock and twist tightly around their small toes. This can cause severe pain, as it block blood circulation. As the toe swells, it becomes more and more difficult to spot the hair.

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, January 21, 2016

This phenomenon has a name. It’s called hair tourniquet. The problem is usually seen in babies and small children, when hair and thread are lost inside socks. They can become spontaneously wrapped around a toe. As the child moves around, the hair or thread starts to tighten.

Similar incidents can occur during sleep, when duvet covers or sheets have loose threads. As the hair or thread tightens, the toe can no longer receive an adequate amount of blood supply. It will swell and turn blue. In severe cases, the hair may cut into the skin.

Treating Hair Tourniquet

If your baby is crying and you can’t seem to calm them, check for this problem. If you find a hair or thread wrapped around your baby’s toe, unwrap or cut it immediately. In severe cases, take your child to a health care professional. Scott and Jessica were able to catch the problem early, so their daughter didn’t suffer any permanent damage. They decided to share their story on social media to bring awareness to the problem. Knowing about hair tourniquet can help parents all over the world prevent it from happening.

Watch the video below for more information:

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