An Australian midwife recently issued an important message that all parents with newborns and infants need to read – This week a UK mum shares the same urgent warning.

Midwife Cath Curtin posted a photo of  baby’s inflamed and swollen toe on Instagram in February to bring parents’ attention to a painful and potentially dangerous injury that, surprisingly, happens more often than you might think.

“So we have a red sore toe…guess what causes it?” she asked her followers.

“Usually a piece of the mothers hair! A hair can be in the baby’s onesie and wrap itself around the babies toe – causing extreme pain and if not checked the toe may need to be amputated.

“It happened to my friend @clairest55 son Tom when he was a baby. A long blonde hair wrapped around his toe. Lucky it was found and the hair removed in time.”

Midwife Cath suggested parents be vigilant about checking their fingers and toes, especially when they’re crying and you are struggling to figure out why.

Update 3 April

A UK mother has this week told how her infant daughter almost lost two of her toes after they became bound in a strand of hair.

Gemma Fraser, from Edinburgh, was shocked to discover one of her long blonde locks had become twisted around baby Orla’s tiny toes, cutting off circulation and leaving them ‘bulging and bright red’.

The hair was tied so tight that it cut the toes in half ‘like cheese wire’.

Most of the hair was snipped away by a paramedic that same day but it took five weeks – and an excruciating hospital procedure – before the last of it was finally removed.

‘I thought maybe she’d had an allergic reaction to something. That’s what it looked like. But when I was able to inspect it a bit more I saw there was a hair wrapped around two of her toes. They were bound together.

Gemma tried to pull off the hair herself but the hair was wrapped too tight and baby Orla was ‘screaming’ in pain.

Now Gemma, 35, is sharing her story in the hope of warning other parents over the dangers of ‘hair tourniquet syndrome’.

gemma fraser

We have previously how a two-month-old baby in China almost had his left thumb amputated after a hair became tightly wrapped around it. Read more on that HERE.

Last year we shared a similar story from an Australian mum who never would have expected to be in the situation that nearly saw her little girl lose her toes. Read her story here.

Tizzie Hall also had a frightening experience when a hair nearly cost her young baby his toe a few years ago.


  • Is a medical condition where a hair or thread becomes tightly tied to a finger, toe or other appendage cutting off circulation and potentially causing amputation.
  • The problem usually affects young babies when hair ends up in their socks and is most common when mothers are shedding hair post-pregnancy.
  • Identified with magnification and cut away usually with small scissors, the rare condition is missed by some doctors

Midwife Cath is an Australian Midwife, MCH nurse. Expert in newborn & toddler feeding & sleep. Author of ‘The First Six Weeks’. Podcast ‘BirthBaby&Beyond’.

Share your comments below.

  • It’s good to know about the possibility this can happen for all parents. Luckily it never happened to my kids.


  • My hair causes enough grief for me – what a terrible picture of that little foot. Hope mothers become more aware of this from your article.


  • Glad to say this never happened to my boys. It’s scary to think a strand of hair could cause so much damage though.


  • Poor little bubba !
    No, I never had this happen but good to be aware.


  • You need to be alert if you have other children, or even pets with long fine hair. It doesn’t happen as often but it can happen to fingers too, especially if baby likes putting fingers in your hair, even more if the pull on it.


  • I’ve heard such terrible stories like this over the years. Quite frightening how simply this can happen and the damage it can cause.


  • Wow, I would never have thought of this!


  • My niece had this happen to her. Luckily, my sister noticed it and quickly removed the hair.


  • OMG how horrific. Thanks for sharing, who would have thought something so trivial could cause such a bad result.


  • That is very helpful advice for new parents.


  • Wow, I had no idea- how scary!


  • I’ve never heard of this. Good warning for parents though.


  • Oh my! I never thought about that!!


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