After experiencing a small medical scare with his baby daughter, a Kansas dad issued a PSA to his fellow parents on Facebook.
Scott Walker posted a photo of his 5-month-old daughter Molly's foot, her second toe looking very swollen.
"Had a small scare this afternoon with Ms. Molly," Walker wrote in the caption. "What happened was new to me, but apparently not totally uncommon, so I figured I'd share with my fellow parents out there."
The dad explained that at lunch one day, Molly was "cranky and screaming -- nothing out of the ordinary." The baby started to overheat, so her mom took off her socks to help her cool down. Then, they noticed something wrong with her toe.
"This is called a hair tourniquet, which is literally a strand of hair that, while inside a sock, unexplainably wraps around a toe so tight that it can cut through the skin and potentially cut off blood circulation," Walker wrote.
Molly's mom Jessica is a nurse, who quickly sprang to action and removed the hair with tweezers and a magnifying glass. According to the dad's post, the photo of the baby's foot was taken about 45 minutes after the hair removal.
"Unfortunately, the hair managed to cut all the way through Molly's skin, completely around her toe, but it could have been worse had it gone much longer untreated, or if the hair wasn't accessible," Walker said.
"The doctor told me, for future reference, to always check the toes if the baby is inconsolable," he added.
Walker's PSA post has been shared almost 24,000 times and prompted many parents to share their own hair tourniquet scare stories.
According to a U.K. study, hair tourniquet syndrome primarily occurs in infants' fingers and toes, though it may also affect genitals. The phenomenon can potentially lead to amputation.
As Walker wrote in a follow-up Facebook post, "Maybe Molly's tough luck will save a little toe out there someday."
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