Local family warns others after hair tourniquet makes daughter’s toe swollen

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KIRTLAND — A young family sees a Kansas father’s hair tourniquet post as no surprise. The picture taken in Wichita, Kansas has gone viral and has thousands of views showing a swollen and red baby toe.

Christie and Josh Hersman were doing the same thing just three months ago, after the same condition happened to their little Ava.

The Kirtland family agrees that a hair tourniquet situation should not be taken lightly, and urge parents to be proactive.

"I had never heard of a hair tourniquet before,” said Christie Hersman.

The mother now checks her daughter’s fingers and toes several times a day, just in case something is wrapped around any of them.

"The nurse was very concerned and said you know we need to get the doctor in here right away, they worry that you're going to lose a toe,” Hersman said.

You see, the hair wrapped around the toe, likely when Hersman put her daughter’s sock on her foot. The fear is that the hair tourniquet can cut through the skin, and cut off blood flow.

"They [doctors] said it was in her sock and most likely the hair got in there through the washing machine.”

Surprisingly, with Ava, there weren’t any apparent signs that anything was wrong.

“A lot of babies are very fussy, they have fevers, and the parents can't figure out why their baby is inconsolable.
That's the norm, with Ava, she was completely fine, completely normal."

Thankfully the Lake County family was at Hillcrest Hospital that day for another appointment already when the discovery was made.

"When they weigh the baby of course you take off all of their clothes, down to the diaper, so when we took Ava's socks off we noticed that her fourth toe was twice as big as the others,” Hersman said.

“It was just noticeable right away with the size and seeing that something was kind of wrapped around there,” according to Josh Hersman, Ava’s Dad.

Since the hair tourniquet ordeal the Hersman family also makes sure to wash Ava’s clothing separately from other laundry.

According to her parents, Ava will have a small scar on her toe, plus it will always be just a little bit bigger than the others.

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