Parenting

Mum shares important warning to parents after a strand of hair almost caused baby to lose his toes


A single strand of hair almost cost little Qasim three of his toes (Picture: Jam Press)

When Jill Mraidi, 46, noticed a strand of hair on her son Qasim’s toes as she put on his socks, she didn’t think much of it.

But hours later, his toes were bright red and bulging. That single strand of hair had wrapped itself around the four-month-old boy’s toes and was cutting off circulation.

Had Jill, from Orlando, Florida, not spotted this in time, she was told Qasim’s toes could have been cut off or would have needed amputation.

The mum-of-four is now sharing an important warning to parents to be aware of the risks of hair tourniquets.



What is a hair tourniquet?

A hair tourniquet is when a strand of hair wraps around a body part and cuts off circulation.

It can lead to nerve damage, scarring, and loss of function, and can affect the fingers, toes, genitals, or any other body part.

Hair tourniquets can happen to anyone, but more commonly occur in babies, as their appendages are small and they can’t explain what’s hurting.

Jill said: ‘Qasim was being fussy and pulling at his socks, so we took one of them off to look.

‘I vaguely remember a small piece of blonde hair that was barely visible but disregarded it thinking it could have nothing to do with what I was looking at.

‘I panicked when I saw his toes because it looked like they were being sliced off so I kept looking but I couldn’t find the cause.

‘I immediately called for an appointment with his paediatrician and they got us to the clinic within two hours.

‘My paediatrician looked at it and knew right away what had happened.

The hair had wrapped tightly around the baby’s toes (Picture: Jam Press)

‘He proceeded to pull out a medical book and flipped to a page that had a picture of a baby with Tourniquet syndrome, and I agreed that’s what it was.’

Jill was horrified to learn that often the injury is seen as a sign of abuse or neglect, and that doctors can inform authorities of hair tourniquets if they think they’re a cause for concern.

‘I was mortified and perplexed at the same time as I am a former child protection investigator (CPI) with the Department of children and families (DCF) here in the state of Florida,’ said Jill.

‘Our paediatrician explained that was one possibility.

‘As we have been seeing him for over 10 years since the birth of my child, he agreed this was not the case with us.

Jill was incredibly lucky she spotted what was wrong (Picture: Jam Press)

‘However, had he not known us he may have called it in. The thought of this is horrific because any innocent parent could have become the target of a DCF investigation.

‘Also, we had seen our paediatrician a few days prior and even went for physical therapy assessment the day before, but nothing was present.’

Three years later, Jill says she’s incredibly lucky to have noticed her son’s swollen feet and saved his toes as a result.

She’s sharing her story to encourage other parents to carefully check for any loose hairs when dressing their babies and young children.

Jill added: ‘The paediatrician was so thankful that we got him in as quickly as we could.

‘In our case, it potentially saved him from having three toes amputated.

‘He has healed completely with no remaining scars.’

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