Kristina Clarke has always been a careful mum, she never would have expected the situation that nearly saw her little girl lose her toes.

“I’m always on mum mode, I’m always diligent, but things happen,” she tells Kidspot.

During a routine nappy change for her five-month-old daughter on Sunday, August, 7, she was shocked to find three of her daughter’s toes had turned bright purple.

“I panicked, I didn’t know what was going on so I called in my husband,” Kristina says. “We had a look and could see hair all around her toes. We tried to get some off, but we must have been pulling hard it was cutting into her toe and it started to bleed.”

Kristina could see the hair tangled around baby Bryleigh’s  toes, and it was dangerously restricting the blood circulation.

The couple tried using baby toenail clippers but were only able to cut one hair wrapped around three of Bryleigh’s tiny toes.

They rushed their baby girl to Blacktown Hospital, where staff were able to remove more hair using “small stitch cutters” but not completely from the middle toe.

“When they removed some hair, there was still an indent, so we didn’t know if it was just a mark on the other toe or still hair because it was so tiny and swollen,” she says.

hair tourniquet

Image supplied

They were then transferred to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where an orthopaedic surgeon was waiting.

At the Westmead doctors removed the hair tourniquet using hair removal cream. Voila!

“They used hair cream, and I was blown away. I felt so stupid that I hadn’t thought about that. Within three minutes it was better, it was still red and swollen, but we could see it had helped,” she says.

Kristina told Mouths of Mums, ” I actually thought it was numbing cream that they were putting on, to prepare her for surgery, I didn’t realise it was just going to disintegrate it within minutes and fix it so easily.”

“It’s quite common in little babies. It seems everyone knows someone that it’s happened to, but no one really know what to do. Babies get it on the fingers as well, they are always grasping and making fists,” she says.

“It can be hair or threads in socks and shirts, if they pull it tight and it gets tangled it’s very hard to get off.”

hair tourniquet 2

Image supplied

Kristina is sharing her story in the hope that it might be able to help other parents. “I’m sure Bryleigh is glad that something good is coming out of her experience,” adds Kristina.

Share your comments below.

Images supplied.  Story shared with permission from Kristina Clarke and her family.

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  • must have given the family quite a scare. glad it turned out well.


  • This is scary. I wonder if the socks were washed inside out. In actual fact socks come cleaner if the washed right side out.


  • I’ve heard similar stories before.


  • I can imagine this was a scary incident ! Glad the orthopaedic surgeon of Westmeads Children’s Hospital was able to help and safe your girlie’s toes ! It’s a great hospital, I go there all the time with my youngest.


  • dont worry I think your not alone when it comes to thinking of hair removal cream! – I would have done exactly the same as you

    So glad your little girl recovered and you saved her toes in time!


  • I have seen many warnings about this over the years. I never would have thought to use hair removal cream


  • I had never heard of this happening before reading this post.


  • It happens a lot and can go unnoticed for some time. Please be sure to thoroughly inspect each digit on your bubs.


  • It is a very scary thing to go through. My son was 4 months old when it happened to us. Wish I new about the cream. Definitely would have preferred that then 5 Drs an nurses watching another nurse slice at my sons toe numerous times with no numbing at Hawkesbury hospital! His screams will stay with me forever. Glad it was a good outcome for our babies.


  • I can imagined how scared they all were. That hair surely did some damages to that beautiful girl’s little toes!


  • Who would have thought the hair off your head could do this? I’ve always had long hair and never experienced this. My daughter in law has thick, dark, long hair. I’ll be letting her know this handy tip, just in case


  • Glad to see it all ended well! You just never know!


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