A two-month-old baby in China almost had his left thumb amputated after a hair became tightly wrapped around it.

A single strand of hair from his mother’s head became so tightly intertwined around his digit that it ballooned to more than double its size.

Fortunately, doctor’s realised it was a hair tourniquet and removed it in an operation last Friday without amputation, shares Daily Mail.

It had wrapped around the child’s thumb so much so that it had got lodged under the skin.

hair thumb

This led to extremely rare clinical phenomenon known as ‘toe tourniquet syndrome’.

The mum told a reporter that the baby had been crying at home for four, five days but did not notice such serious accident.

The mother said: ‘Perhaps it happened when I was holding him up close, I didn’t notice at all and I was not checking thoroughly.’

Recommended mums keep their hair short or tie it up

Dr Hu reminded young mothers to keep their hair short or tie up their long hair to avoid such incident happening.

Most children who suffer from toe tourniquet syndrome are four days to 19 months old and usually present to doctors inconsolably crying and in obvious distress.

Generally such a young age group is at risk is down to the postpartum hair loss which 90 percent of mothers experience.

Dad shared his story to warn others

Scott and Jessica Walker from Kansas have shared their story when their 19-week-old daughter, Molly, started screaming at lunch.

They were shocked to discover the source of the screaming: a hair tourniquet around her toe.

“The hair tourniquet syndrome wasn’t anything I ever heard about,” Scott told TODAY.com. “When we found it was pretty stressful because any time your kid is hurt it’s stressful; you feel helpless. I’m lucky enough to have a wife who is an awesome nurse who was able to remove the hair in minutes.”

“It was a pretty scary situation,” he said. “It ended very well, but it was scary enough where I wouldn’t want anyone else to deal with something like that, so I wrote about it.”

They shared their story on Facebook in hopes of enlightening friends and family who were also new parents. His post has since been shared more than 35,000 times.

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.


  • 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

Share your comments below.

Image via getty

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  • So the hair is so thin it cant be detected easily?


  • Thanks for the post – it’s amazing what hair can do to a digit.


  • A similar thing happened to my niece but not to that extent, thankfully the problem was sorted out quickly.


  • Oh my gosh, I didn’t know this could happen


  • Long hair but thankfully never had this happen.


  • I have very long hair and as a new Mum had it tied up often, it was easier. I had no idea this toe tourniquet was such a thing and find it quite frightening.


  • Must be very painful for a little one.
    I always tie my hair back.


  • Never seen that before, good to know for future reference.


  • I remember reading a similar story not a long time ago. Very scary indeed.


  • i have never heard of this happening before. wow! luckily these situations were resolved!


  • Shocking! I agree, short hair on mums is very sensible, but not everyone wants it. I always tied mine back


  • This is so scary. I was warned to be careful having a little boy too. Its so easy to get hair in their nappies.


  • This is really frightening. Something you wouldn’t think of when a baby starts crying more than usual. Worth remembering if your baby starts pulling your hair at all.


  • a friend had told me about her daughter having it so I am always extra careful with hair and toes


  • I always had my hair tied up to keep it out of the way of nappy changes!


  • Well I must admit I have never heard of this . . so thank you. With a daughter and niece who have long blond hair and constantly loosing and leaving it behind this is extra important to remember.


  • A scary moment for that poor mum and baby!


  • I guess we just need to check our bubs all the time.


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