Dad shares photo of baby girl’s foot as a warning to other parents about dangerous condition

By Litaletu Zidepa
04 February 2016

Five-month-old baby Molly became “very upset”, and there was nothing her panicked parents could do to calm her down – until they took off her socks.

A father from Kansas in the US shared this seemingly innocuous photo of his daughter’s foot on social media to help raise awareness for a strange condition many parents may never have heard of.

Baby Molly started crying, and no matter what her parents did, they just couldn't calm her. PHOTO: Facebook Baby Molly started crying, and no matter what her parents did, they just couldn't calm her. PHOTO: Facebook

It all started when Scott Walker took his family for lunch, and five-month-old baby Molly became “very upset”.

The father of two told Buzzfeed News he had a gut feeling that something was wrong.

“Molly has been battling some colic and reflux issues for the past couple months, so being agitated is nothing unordinary, for her, but something seemed ‘off’ this time [sic],” he said.

Scott's wife Jessica thought little Molly was overheating, so she took off her socks. It was then she noticed something strange on the infant’s toe.

A strand of hair was wound around her toe, so tightly wrapped that it cut into her skin.

Scott shared this photo online as a warning to other parents. PHOTO: Facebook Scott shared this photo online as a warning to other parents. PHOTO: Facebook

Apparently this is not an uncommon occurrence -- doctors call this it the “toe-tourniquet syndrome” or a “hair tourniquet”.

“The condition occurs when a hair becomes trapped near a baby’s digit, such as in a sock, and somehow becomes wound tightly around it,” clinical instructor at the Department of Paediatrics at New York University Dr Julie Gallombardo said.

The condition may lead to surgery or infections, she added, or in the worst case scenario, the loss of a finger or toe.

“It is very painful, and it needs to be dealt with emergently,” she said.

But Jessica, who has "medical emergency superpowers", Scott said, was quick to remove the hair from her toe using tweezers and a magnifying glass.

Molly’s toe has now healed, and she’s “doing great”, Scott said. “She never stopped being her normal happy self.”

Since Scott shared his newfound parenting knowledge on Facebook, his post has been shared over 21 000 times.

“I certainly never imagined the chain reaction that followed, but it’s great to know Molly’s story is bringing so much awareness to the parenting community," he said.

Dr Gallombardo said its important parents learn from the family’s story by “checking their child’s digits for hairs if they are crying for no apparent reason because the condition can pop up out of nowhere.”

Sources: Facebook, Buzzfeed, Daily Mail

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