Sammy Nickalls
February 05, 2016 8:57 am

Every parent (we assume) wishes their crying baby could just open their mouths and tell them what’s wrong. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and it can lead to a lot of confusion when your baby is crying up a storm and seems totally inconsolable. However, parents Scott and Jessica Warner have a message for new parents out there, because their baby daughter’s crying led to quite the scare.

Two weeks ago, Scott and Jessica’s baby daughter, Molly, started screaming at lunch. She got so worked up that she began to overheat, which prompted Jess to take off her socks off. . . and that’s where they discovered the source of Molly’s despair. Scott uploaded a picture of his daughter’s toe, which had been injured by the most seemingly innocent of things: a strand of hair.


“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,” Scott wrote in the post.

Luckily, Jess was able to get the hair off with some tweezers and a magnifying glass, but by that point the hair had cut all the way through Molly’s delicate skin.

“The hair tourniquet syndrome wasn’t anything I ever heard about,” Scott told Today. “When we found it was pretty stressful because any time your kid is hurt it’s stressful; you feel helpless. I’m lucky enough to have a wife who is an awesome nurse who was able to remove the hair in minutes.”

According to parenting and youth development expert Dr. Debi Gilboa, this is something many in pediatrics look for if a child won’t stop crying.

“If you feel like your child is behaving in a way that’s unusual, pay attention to it. You’re usually right,” Gilboa told Today. “A hair tourniquet is a great thing to check for and it’s not hard to spot. There’s not really any way to prevent it, but they’re not that hard to remove. Use something like a bobby pin, so it’s thin and not sharp, slide it between the hair and the skin and it pops right off. If you feel uncomfortable, call your doctor.”

If the situation had gone on for much longer untreated, Molly could have been in really, really bad shape, so Scott posted the picture to raise awareness about hair tourniquets in babies. It’s been shared over 30,000 times with over 20,000 comments, many of which are from concerned parents.

As for Scott, he’s glad he was able to take a scary situation and use it to help make other new parents aware of hair tourniquets.

“There’s a lot of people who haven’t heard about it and we’ve had a couple of messages of people who saw the post and it happened to them since then and took action to help their kid out before it got worse,” Scott told Today. “How much more rewarding does it get?”