Splinter Removal in 4 Easy Steps | Health Eagle

Splinter Removal in 4 Easy Steps

by MPK April 9th, 2010 | Children's Health, First Aid, Injuries
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The arrival of spring brings children to the outdoors, and the return of warmer temperatures often means that these children will be outside barefoot and not covered from neck to ankles in clothing.  It also means there’s a greater likelihood of hiking and camping. Be prepared for your camping trip, not only with good blankets and a tent, but also first aid supplies.

If your child receives a cut or scrape, an adhesive bandage will help, but splinters need a little more attention.  Although the cries of your child may tempt you to delay removing the splinter, it is best to remove the splinter as soon as possible to minimize the possibility of an infection.  According to the National Institute of Health, there are four steps to removing a splinter:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Use tweezers to grab the splinter. Carefully pull it out at the same angle it went in.
  3. If the splinter is under the skin or hard to grab: Sterilize a pin or needle by soaking it in rubbing alcohol or placing the tip in a flame. Wash your hands with soap. Use the pin to gently remove skin over the splinter. Then use the tip of the pin to lift the end of the splinter out. You will probably still need to use tweezers as in step 2.
  4. Wash the area with soap and water after the splinter is out. Pat it dry. (Don’t rub.) Apply antibiotic ointment. Bandage the cut only if it is likely to get dirty. It will heal faster if exposed to the air.

Of course, the use of those steps doesn’t guarantee that your child will stop crying or agree to the removal more easily.  To help make the removal easier, here are a list of parent-created tips:

  • Hold ice on the affected area for 1-2 minutes, in order to numb the area
  • Soak the affected area, which makes it easier to use a needle, if you need to follow step 3 of the directions
  • Distract the child by working on splinter removal while the child watches a tv show or DVD
  • Apply topical infant teething medicine (such as Baby Orajel) to the affected area before removal
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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.