New parenthood comes with an endless list of things you never would have imagined to be cause for panic. Honey. The kitty litter box. Soft bedding. Baby monitors used as spy cams. Here’s one more to add to the list: Your own hair.
Photo: Kirill P (Getty Images)
In a disturbing Reddit thread, mums and dads are sharing their horror stories of a medical condition called hair tourniquet, which happens when a hair or thread gets wrapped around a toe or finger so tightly that it puts that digit in danger. It sometimes occurs when a strand of hair gets trapped in a baby sock or in footie pajamas. As the tiny toe wriggles, the hair can tighten around it.
One Reddit user wrote, “This happened to my youngest daughter when she was 2 or 3 months old. She was screaming and nothing could console her. My mother told me if a baby is crying and can’t be consoled, make them naked and inspect every part. She had a hair tourniquet around her second toe. It was so tight, her toe had begun to turn purple.” Another shared that in their medical clinic, a kid came in with a hair tourniquet of the penis, which can happen when a hair gets caught in a baby’s nappy. “I’m convinced that babies and small children are at all times literally doing everything possible to harm themselves,” one commenter remarked.
While a hair tourniquet isn’t uncommon, it’s a relief to know that lasting damage from the condition (including the most frightening: The loss of a digit) is very, very rare. Still, new parents, now might be time to finally spring for that Roomba.