life of
dr. mom

Hair Tourniquet

I lost so much hair postpartum after Madi and George. With my increased shedding of hair, there were loose strands of hair not only all over the floors of our house, but also on my babes. Loose strands of hair on babies can be dangerous as it can lead to a hair tourniquet.

What is a hair tourniquet?

A hair tourniquet is when a strand of hair gets tangled around a finger, toe, or even genitals of your baby.  The hair may wrap so tightly that it blocks blood flowing into the area which can damage the tissue. This can cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and swelling. In severe and rare situations they can lead to amputation.

Wearing your hair back while taking care of your baby will reduce the chance any loose hairs fall where they shouldn’t.

Please see your health care provider if you are concerned about a possible hair tourniquet. Remember the hair often isn’t visible around the swollen area.

This post was co-authored by Erin Manchuk, BScPharm, BCGP and Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc.

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