Save Me From The Splinter

pulling hair out mother

Ah, summer. It’s a great time for making memories that include playing outside and family gatherings.

It’s also a great time to get splinters. If your child has not yet had a splinter (lucky you), you are probably wondering why in the world this would be a blog-worthy subject. If your child has had a splinter, you know exactly why this is blog-worthy. If your kiddo has or had a splinter, you may be looking for medical advice and/or simply trying to figure out how to deal with removing a splinter without causing psychological damage to your munchkin (yes, this can be THAT exciting).

I like to say I have an “easy-going” little girl. I like to think she’s a rough and tumble type, and resilient.  However, recently, when she got a splinter, I threw all of the above thoughts out the window.

We were lucky to be vacationing with family on the east coast. Decent weather and mostly calm waters despite the fact we had seven kiddos (six of them under the age of five) in the household. I know I should have known better, but we were mostly barefoot for the week and, for the most part, it was all good. Then, the splinter happened. There was happiness on the outdoor deck as we were reading stories. One swift move and a nice-sized splinter embedded in our little one’s foot. Oy. The fun began.

It was large and I thought that one good pick and it would easily come out. I had no idea the reaction my little one would have as I simply tried to look at her foot. Due to her screams (she had lost her mind, not so much from the pain, but the THOUGHT of the pain), I picked her up and took her down to our room. I got out the tweezers. From the look on her face, you would have thought I was about to do major surgery. The hubby stood by and tried to assist. This was not going well. We were all stressing out over a piece of wood no bigger than my fingernail.

Ten minutes later, I gave up. I figured the cost of going to see a doctor to remove this would be less than years of therapy. It was nearing nap time so I attempted to get us all calmed down and just leave the splinter (really, thinking I could remove while she was sleeping). She was out pretty quickly and the hubby and I joined in for a quick siesta.

I woke up before all and quietly got the tweezers. Even before I could look at the foot, her eyes opened. Here we go again…

Ten more minutes of crying (her, not me), I was able to get a large chunk of the splinter out. She was relieved, happy, even laughing.  I was exhausted.  I also knew we were not done. There was still a piece in her foot. At this point, we decided to clean the area (soap and warm water or a gentle baby wipe can do the trick, or rinse with water if nothing else is available) and let it be.

For the next two days, I watched the area closely. There was still a little piece left. We gave it good soaks in the tub and kept it clean.

Searching the Internet, I found a few more tips (I’ll try to save you the “fun” we had):
*Try tape to remove a splinter. Plain old tape will sometimes do the trick. Lay the tape over the splinter and then remove the tape in the direction the splinter entered into the skin.
*If you’re going to need to use a sterilized needle (sterilize with rubbing alcohol) or a splinter removal kit (yes, they do sell such items, and they work wonderfully), go for it with a flashlight in the night. We found success with a prior splinter incident even though we had to work at the area for a couple of nights. It was far less stressful for everyone involved.
*Make sure to keep an eye on the area for infection. If the area looks to be changing – growing red, irritated, oozing, etc., it’s best to have a doctor check it out. 
*If nothing else is working, go see the doctor for help with removal.

The splinter in her foot traveled home with us from our vacation. The area was growing a little red and I knew it had to come out. The husband and I tried to reason with the little one, distracting with books while one of us worked on the area. Finally, we had success.

Next time, we’re all wearing shoes. All the time.

Have you had to remove a splinter from your little one? Share your tips! I need all the help I can get!

What do you think?

Save Me From The Splinter

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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  1. I have two kids and so far have not had any splinter problems, I’m always fighting with them to put their shoes on… but I’ll keep in ming your tips just in case…

  2. Profile photo of debbie debbie says:

    No, never have

  3. Profile photo of kharman kharman says:

    no but ive seen a little girl on a boardwalk get a splinter the lenghth of her foot it was very messy and of course the crying was insatiable poor little thing , shoes shoes shoes these areas are dirty not to mention dangerous for little dragging feet

  4. Profile photo of Melissa Melissa says:

    Band aid! Put a band-aid over the splinter (usually over night) and it draws it out!

  5. Profile photo of sukismom sukismom says:

    I have not ran into this problem yet with my 8 month old but am now dreading the day that I do. I will definitely be adding the splinter remover kit to my first aid bag. Thanks for the heads up, sorry I don’t have any tips yet.


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