3 Simple Ways To Remove A Splinter From Your Toddler’s Foot

Toddlers love to jump around the house, and nothing can stop them. Not to forget, they love to run around barefoot. This increases the risk of them encountering a splinter, making you eventually wonder about how to remove a splinter from your toddler’s foot.

A splinter is the fragment of any object that gets lodged inside the tissues of the feet unintentionally (1). Splinters are usually harmless and can be removed easily with the help of a tweezer, except when it penetrates deep into the skin, increasing the chances of an infection. In such cases, consult the doctor immediately. Read on to know how you can easily remove a splinter from your child’s feet.

Read on to know about ways by which you can easily remove a splinter from your child’s feet.

In This Article

Steps To Remove A Splinter From The Toddler’s Foot

So, your little walker got a splinter, now what? Don’t worry. Splinters in toddlers are common and mostly harmless, unless it gets impacted or infected. In fact, you can easily remove a small splinter at home. Here’s what you need to do (2):

Step 1: Calm down – both of you. Your little one needs you to be calm. She is scared enough, in any case! A squirmy toddler is not conducive to first aid.

Step 2: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and your toddler’s foot (or hands, wherever the splinter has found its way). The last thing you need is an infection.

Step 3: Get help. No matter how much you explain, chances are your toddler will squirm when you try to remove the splinter. So ask another adult to help out to keep the toddler quiet and keep the foot steady.

Step 4: Bring out your tweezers and sterilize them preferably with spirit. Now grab the part of the splinter that is visible and pull it out.

Step 5: If the splinter is not visible and has dug deep, you’ll need a needle. Sterilize a needle and make a small hole in the skin. Use the needle to lift out the splinter a bit. Now you can remove it with your trusted tweezers!

Use a needle to lift out the splinter and remove it with tweezers.

Image: Shutterstock

Step 6: Finally, apply some antibiotic on the area and tie a bandage. This will prevent any infection.

Quick tip
Rubbing ice for a few minutes will numb the area and helps in the easy removal of the splinter (1).

3 Alternate Ways Of Removing Splinters From Toddler’s Foot

If tweezers are not your cup of tea, or if your toddler is not letting you come near her with a pair, you’ll need alternate methods to remove the splinter. Here are a few home remedies you can try for toddler splinter removal:

1. Use Cello Tape:

Get a piece of cello tape and put it over the tip of the splinter. Now pull out the tape. The splinter will stick to the tape and come out. This is a ‘no tear’ solution for removing splinters!

2. Glue It:

You can also use glue to remove a splinter from your toddler’s skin. Put the glue on the affected area, allow it to dry and simply peel it out, along with the splinter!

3. Baking Soda:

Baking soda and water paste will help you remove splinter easily.

Image: Shutterstock

If you cannot even see the splinter, baking soda may well be the solution for you! Mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste. Now, smear the paste on a bandage and put over the affected area. Leave for 24 hours. Once you remove the bandage, the splinter should now be visible. You can simply remove it with a pair of tweezers. If it is still not visible, repeat the process for another 24 hours.

Quick tip
You may use manuka honey to remove splinters from your toddler’s foot. Apply honey and wrap a bandage around it for a few hours. Honey will soften the skin and act as a natural antiseptic, making it easy to remove the splinter (3).

Most splinters are harmless and ease out without causing much harm. But there are rare cases of infection that you should be aware of.

When To See Your Doctor?

See a doctor if your child has redness and swelling on the foot.

Image: Shutterstock

If you are up to date with your toddler’s vaccination, splinters are not a cause for panic. But if you have missed a dose or two, there is a slim chance of tetanus, a dangerous infection that can even prove to be fatal. So make sure your vaccination schedule is on track. To be careful, it is better to give a tetanus shot if the doctor suggests it.

The other thing to look out for is infection. If you notice swelling, redness and pus; go to your pediatrician. These are all classic symptoms of infection and need medical intervention. The infection can develop into an abscess.

Quick fact
If the splinters are too small and do not cause discomfort, there is no need to remove them. With time, they will leave the skin through the natural shedding process (1).

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Encourage your toddler to keep shoes on to prevent splinters.

Image: Shutterstock

This is one saying that never grows old! Why put your toddler through tears and screams when you can prevent it? All you need to do is follow some simple steps:

  • Encourage your toddler to keep her shoes on. Easier said than done! But it is the simplest way to prevent splinters.
  • While playing outdoors, check the swings and slides (and other ‘fun’ places). These are the places that are most likely to splinter off. Get them repaired if you can.
  • Teach your toddler about ‘unsafe’ things like a piece of glass or a rough piece of wooden toy.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get a splinter out of a toddler’s foot with a syringe?

If you don’t have tweezers or are unsure how to remove splinters from your toddler’s foot, an empty syringe can help. If you can see the tip of the splinters, place the syringe above it, ensuring it is touching the skin and there is no gap, and then pull the syringe out. The vacuum pressure built into the syringe may help you remove a splinter from the foot. However, use a clean syringe to avoid infection or contamination.

2. How does Epsom salt draw out splinters from a toddler’s foot?

Epsom salt generates pressure, which can bring foreign materials to the surface. Soak the affected area in Epsom salt water for 10 minutes or longer, as needed (3).

3. Will vinegar draw out a splinter from my toddler’s foot?

Yes. Due to its acidic nature, vinegar may help remove the splinter from the toddler’s foot by shrinking the surrounding skin around the splinter. You can gently apply it to your toddler’s skin by pressing cotton soaked in vinegar against it; however, be careful that your toddler does not consume it in any way (4).

Splinters are painful, but they aren’t reason enough to cocoon your toddler. Allow them to explore instead, and if a splinter does get into your toddler’s skin, try to tweeze it out. If your toddler doesn’t let you touch, you may try using cello tape, glue, or baking soda to remove a splinter from their foot. If the splinter becomes infected or becomes deeply embedded, and you observe swelling, consult your child’s doctor. Also, encourage your children to wear shoes when playing outside to reduce the risk of splinters.

Infographic: Alternate Ways Of Removing Splinters From Toddler’s Foot

You may try several methods to remove a splinter from your toddler’s foot. The following infographic provides a list of possible options, along with tips on how to prevent splinters from occurring. If you are unable to remove the splinter or observe signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or pus, it is vital to seek medical attention from your child’s healthcare provider.

how to remove a splinter from your toddler's foot (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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