Mum shares how her baby boy almost lost four toes.

Alex Upton, 26, was woken up by her inconsolable 10-week-old son, Ezra, last week. After spotting his red, swollen toes, she discovered a piece of her hair was restricting circulation to them for around “12 to 14 hours” – leaving him in agony, shared The Sun.

The unsettled baby had developed hair tourniquet syndrome, which mostly affects infants when hair becomes tied around their toes, fingers, tongue or umbilical stump.

hair tourniquet

Alex, from Paignton, Devon, said: “I’ll certainly be checking everything for hair from now on. I felt awful.”

She continued: “I just can’t believe midwives or doctors don’t warn you of the risk when you have a baby.

“I feared Ezra might lose some of his toes and he could easily have needed [to have them removed] if I hadn’t noticed the hair then.

“It must have been on there for 12 to 14 hours because I only noticed it in the morning.”

She is urging parents to stay vigilant when bathing or dressing their children.

The ‘safety-conscious’ mum is hoping that by speaking out, she will prevent other babies going through the unnecessary pain Ezra did.

Alex said: “I’m normally really safety conscious with the kids but I had never expected this to happen to us.

“My advice to any parents would be when you’re changing baby-grows or putting on socks, or even getting them out of the bath, check thoroughly and make sure you turn clothing inside out first to remove any stray hair.

“Hair easily gets stuck in things when they’ve been in the washing machine too, so it’s important to check.

Common problem for infants

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.

Read more: How hair removal cream saved this little girls toes…


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 condition is often missed by some doctors.

Share your comments below.

  • I had long hair as a young mum, never thought this was a possibility, but I used to pluck hairs of tge kids sometimes


  • There is a lot of things the medical practitioners need to tell new parents. I think this falls into common sense. We all as kids have fiddled with circulation…


  • I try to remember to check my clothing and towels whether there is any hair on them at all before washing them.


  • This is quite common and so easy to happen :(


  • Good to be aware of the possibility this to happen indeed.


  • I was always so cautious of this


  • What a scary thing to have happen!


  • Yes this is scary and I’m glad her baby is okay but how is it doctors and nurses responsibility to warn parents of this? With my first I was constantly checking fingers and toes without any “advice” (plus they’re so cute when they’re small that I loved holding them). For me, this falls under commonsense -there are heaps of things that pose a risk to our children, we should be using commonsense here.


  • I have read of this before. I have long hair and 2 babies with no issues. I think ppl should be aware but I don’t think it’s a massive problem


  • I’ve had this happen to my bub. Neve bad enough to cause any serious problems tho. I always have look at her hands and feet when I change her


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