Hair Tourniquet: Father Warns About Hair That Cut Off Baby's Circulation

When your newborn cries, it breaks your heart—especially if you can't figure out the source of their discomfort. Kansas residents Scott and Jessica Walker were having lunch when their 19-week-old daughter Molly began to scream uncontrollably. Inconsolable, Jessica checked her daughter and noticed that her body had begun to overheat. When she removed her socks to help her cool off, she noticed an indentation around her toe. It was something commonly known as a hair tourniquet—when a strand of hair wraps around a toe so tightly that it can cut through the skin and potentially cut off blood circulation.

"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."

After learning about this newborn health hazard, Scott took to Facebook to enlighten his friends, family and other new parents. His post went viral, gathering more than 16,000 shares and being listed as a top trending story.

"If you feel like your child is behaving in a way that's unusual, pay attention to it. You're usually right," parenting and youth development expert Dr. Debi Gilboa said. "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."