In today’s program Dr. Reminga, from Northern Foot Care Center, talks about an unusual circumstance that could result in the loss of your babies toe. Dr. Reminga begins with a story about a mother whose baby girl had a thin hair wrapped tightly around her baby’s middle toe. This is referred to as a hair tourniquet and can cause great distress for a small baby. Luckily, the mother in the story, was able to release the hair in time. If left on for too long, this type of “toe strangulation” can cut off circulation to the rest of the baby’s toe which can lead to infection and sometimes… amputation. A hair tourniquet occurs most often in babies under 1 year old and commonly during their nap time. They may get a hair inside a footie pajama or sock and as they move and wiggle around, as babies do, the hair twists tighter and tighter around their toe. This can also happen with a loose thread from clothing or bedding but is less common. Human hair is elastic, and is more likely to cause the problem however.

Fortunately, parents or caretakers will most likely notice the hair tourniquet early on because it causes extreme discomfort for the baby as described in the story. The baby will be very upset and unable to be calmed down by the usual methods. The problem arises when the parent doesn’t think to check their baby’s feet because they’re covered by socks and tucked under blankets. Once they see the toe, it’s usually pretty clear that something is wrong.

In this program, Dr. Reminga provides helpful insight and practical information about hair tourniquets so that parents and caregivers are aware and prepared if they are ever confronted with this scary situation. Hair tourniquets can be common, but are rarely serious if caught in time and they are easily preventable if parents are aware of the risks and take steps to avoid it. Listen to today’s program about a “Hairy Topic” that could help you resolve a painful and potentially dangerous situation for your baby.

Dr. Daniel Reminga's Weekly Radio Show "Your Feet Your Health" airs every Wednesday at 10 am & 5 pm on WKMJ 93.5FM, WMPL 920AM, WUPY 101.1FM radio. Listen to past recordings here.