hair tourniquet syndrome baby toes

Parents just want their children to be safe, healthy, and happy.

They dote on their little ones and do everything they can to ensure their safety at all times.

With all the care and attention they place on their babies, it’s reasonable to not expect anything seriously or majorly bad to happen to their kids.

But sometimes, dangerous things can swoop around and catch people by surprise. And sometimes, the signs and symptoms seem so arbitrary that you may not think much of them until it’s too late.

That’s why Heather, a mother from Michigan, is warning other parents about something that happened seemingly out of the blue to her – and may happen to others, too.

Heather’s 10-week-old son, Jacob, was taking his usual two-hour nap when it all began.

Heather had decided to check his diaper to make sure it didn’t require changing. Everything seemed fine, so she went back out.

Then, when the nap was coming to an end, she returned to the room with her partner Tommy, Jacob’s father.

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The couple had entered the room too in order to help get Jacob ready for the evening, as they were planning to head over to a party later that night.

As such, Tommy wanted to help Heather get Jacob fed, get his diaper changed, and have him dressed in clean clothes.

At one point, Tommy held onto Jacob so Heather could put on his socks. That’s when she noticed something awfully wrong with Jacob’s toes.

To her absolute horror, she realized that they had turned a dark, sickeningly worrying shade of blue!

Upon taking a closer look, she realized that two of little Jacob’s toes were tied up together with a tangled strand of her own hair!

When she had checked on him earlier while he was napping, her hair may have gotten caught around his toes and cut off circulation to them.

Thinking quickly, Heather cut off as much of the hair from his body as she could, then she and Tommy rushed him to the ER.

Five doctors took an hour to successfully remove the remainder of the hair from where it was wrapped around his small toes.

Doctors informed Heather that, had she not been able to remove parts of the tangled strands when she did, they may have had to amputate Jacob’s affected toes.

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This is far from an uncommon occurrence. It happens frequently enough that there is a name for it: hair tourniquet syndrome.

It can commonly happen around fingers, toes, and even the genitals of young babies if long hair gets tangled around them.

This is why Heather has now advised other parents to check their extremities of their young children as often as possible, as what seems like a harmless strand of hair is like wire to a baby.


Even 12 hours after the hair was removed, Jacob’s toes still looked quite raw and swollen, and Heather couldn’t stop crying when she thought about how much pain her baby has been through.

Luckily, he’s set to make a full recovery!

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