How to Remove a Splinter from your Skin or your Child's
Climbing trees and playing outdoors is very exciting for children - and for some of us grownups as well. That is, until they come home crying with a splinter that needs to be removed. A splinter, if not removed, can cause pain when it is touched. Although it might naturally dislodge itself from the skin, it might cause an infection if left there. For this reason, it is recommended to remove splinters from the skin as soon as possible.
Removing a splinter can be quite painful and difficult, especially when dealing with a child. Read on to discover how to remove a splinter from your skin or your child's as easily and as painlessly as possible.
The first step to remove a splinter from your skin painlessly is to fill a small bowl with warm water and soak the part of the body - it's easier if it's a hand or a foot - where the splinter is. Soaking the skin will soften it and make the splinter easier to remove.
In order to make this operation less painful, apply ice to the affected area to anesthetize it naturally. However, remember that you should never apply ice directly on the skin since it can cause burns; cover it with a cloth or use cold compresses.
It is also very important to clean the tweezers with an alcohol swab - normal hair-removal tweezers will do. This will sterilize the tweezers so that germs do not enter the skin pierced by the splinter.
Do wash your hands thoroughly with soap, or even use latex gloves.
Locate the edge of the splinter protruding from the skin and pick it with the tweezers, using as much precision as possible. You can use a magnifying glass if it's very small or light-colored. Pull the splinter out with the same angle at which it entered to avoid causing more damage to the skin and to avoid breaking the splinter.
If dealing with a child, it would be best to distract them. Ask them to recite the alphabet or their favorite song, and make sure that they are not watching! Also ensure that you have strong grip of the injured body part to prevent it from moving.
If your child won't let you near their splinter, just wait for them to fall asleep. Once you know that they are in a deep sleep (after about half an hour), sneak in and gently remove the splinter without any tears.
It can be quite difficult to remove a splinter from your skin or your child's if it is small. If the splinter breaks as you are pulling it out, you will need to remove it using a needle. Make sure that the needle is sterilized by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. Next, using the needle, remove the top layer of skin covering the splinter. Gently lift the skin and then grab the edge of the splinter with the tweezers to remove it completely.
Once the splinter is removed, wash the area with warm water and antibacterial soap to prevent infection. It's also a good idea to apply iodine or another topic antiseptic product to ease cicatrization. If the area is constantly touching objects - for instance, the hands - you should cover the wound with sterile gauze and a bandage.
Of course, to avoid future splinters you must avoid touching rough wooden surfaces. As it is virtually impossible to prevent your child from exploring and touching everything they find outside, you can at least help make your home splinter-free by sanding down rough wooden surfaces on doors, staircases or chairs. Explain to your child how splinters work so that they can take greater care when climbing their next tree. Finally, it wouldn't hurt to insist that your little guy or girl wear shoes when playing outside.
Now that you know how to remove a splinter from your skin or your child's, you can go on playing!
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- Use a magnifying glass to help grab the edge of the splinter in the first attempt.
- Consult a doctor if the splinter beneath the skin of the foot is large or deep.
- Monitor the wound for signs of infection (increased swelling, redness, pain) following the removal of the splinter.