The Painful, Almost Invisible Reason Your Baby Might Be Crying
I'm not going to lie. The above picture really makes my skin crawl. I'm grimacing as I'm writing this. No, not that grimace. The kind of grimace that makes you want to avoid that at all costs.
What you see above is called a hair tourniquet. Maybe you've heard of it; maybe you haven't. But it's extremely important to be aware of because babies are at risk for these sorts of things happening, just ask this mom who had to deal with it herself.
So what exactly is a hair tourniquet? A hair tourniquet is when a strand (or a couple of strands) of hair wraps itself around either the toes or the fingers on your baby's feet and hands. Typically, it happens more often to the toes than the fingers, but it can also wrap around a baby's penis, which is 100% undesirable and harder to see because it would be covered up by a diaper.
You may be saying to yourself, “It's just hair. How bad could it be?” Take a glance at the photo above and think again. It could cause a lot of pain and even cut off the circulation completely, forcing the need of amputation. Not cool.
Elizabeth Reid, the mom in the story that was linked to above, knows how serious it could be. Her baby's toe was “bright red, almost purple,” and her baby was in pain.
Reid shared some tips that will help make sure that your baby doesn't get a hair tourniquet:
- Check fingers and toes: Take a look at all of your baby's digits to see if there's hair wrapped around any of them.
- Check your baby's clothes: Make sure that there aren't any strands of hair in your baby's clothing. These could get themselves wrapped around their fingers or toes.
- Wash your baby's clothes separate from all other clothes: This will ensure that no stray hairs from other family members find their way into your baby's clothes.
- Wash your baby's clothes inside out: If you do this, you'll be able to see hair if it happens to find its way in their despite your other efforts.
- Check your baby's fingers and toes if they're crying: If your baby is a little on the fussy side and you can't figure out what the problem is, check their fingers, toes, and, in the case of baby boys, their penis. There may be a hair tourniquet there.
We all want our babies to be safe. This is just another danger that we need to be aware of so that our babies can be comfortable and safe.