Baby in blue wooly hat and trousers

The photo that every new parent needs to see

Not sure why your baby's crying? This Dad could have the answer.

By Shannon Wilson, 09 February 2016
The photo that every new parent needs to see

There's nothing worse than a baby that won't stop crying – you've tried absolutely everything to console them, but you just can't pinpoint what's wrong. New dad Scott Walker, from Kansas, know this only too well and he's sharing a very important photo of his little girl Molly in the hopes that other parent's won’t miss a problem that can often be overlooked: a hair tourniquet.

'A hair tourniquet is literally a strand of hair that, while inside a sock, unexplainably wraps around a toe' - Scott Walker

Scott and Jessica welcomed baby Molly into their family back in September, so naturally they became very worried when just a few weeks ago Molly started getting very upset while they were out for lunch. No matter what they tried she just wouldn't quiet down. The turmoil was causing her to overheat, so in a bid to help cool her down, Jess took off her socks. This was when they noticed something very strange indeed – wrapped around one of Molly’s little toes was a strand of hair that had been wound so tight that it had cut off her circulation, breaking her skin and causing her toe to swell. Lucky for Molly, Jess is a trained nurse so she quickly removed the hair with the help of a tweezers and magnifying glass. 

Scott and Jess had never come across this situation before, so they thought that other parent's might also benefit from hearing their story. They hoped that by sharing the photo of Molly’s foot, they could encourage parent’s to check their babies fingers and toes whenever their child becomes inconsolable: '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 wrote on Facebook: 'What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon, so I figured I'd share with my fellow parents out there… 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.’ They took the photo they shared of Molly's toe a whole 45 minutes after they'd cut it free, showing the lasting damage that hair tourniquets can do. Check out Scott’s post below for more information:


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, 21 January 2016


But what exactly is a hair tourniquet and should you be worried about it? As Scott writes in the post, it's '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.' Although mostly occurring on toes, it can also occur on any appendage – so make sure to check everything from fingers to earlobes. Although it can be dangerous, the message here is not to be scared of hair tourniquets but instead to keep vigilant, especially if your baby is upset for no obvious reason. Once found, they are easy to remove with something thin but not sharp, like a bobby pin, by sliding between the hair and the skin. If the hair isn't easily removed, you can quickly take your baby to your local doctor's surgery or hospital for quick removal.

As for Molly and her family, they're doing great and Scott is glad he was able to take a scary situation and turn it into something positive. 

Head over to asda direct to pick up all your baby needs and if you suspect a hair tourniquet, contact your GP straight away.