KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Splinters are a common, often painful, part of growing up. Sometimes coaxing a child into letting you remove a splinter is tougher than the actual injury. But, there are times when you should take your child to the doctor. Dr. Kristin Farr, emergency room director at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, shares tips on removing splinters and offers advice on when to seek additional medial treatment.
Types of foreign bodies that are often embedded in a child’s skin include:
- Wood/organic: splinters, cactus spines, thorns, toothpicks
- Metallic: bullets, BBs, nails, sewing needles, pins, tacks
- Fiberglass spicules
- Pencil lead
Splinter Removal at home
- Wash your hands and the area around the splinter with soap and warm water.
- Sterilized tweezers and needle by putting the ends of each in boiling water, then wipe off with a clean cotton ball or alcohol pad.
- If splinter is sticking through skin, firmly grip the end with tweezers. Pull slowly and gently as the same angle the splinter went in.
- If the tip of splinter isn’t sticking out, gently scrape the skin away from the splinter with the needle until there’s an end to grab with tweezers.
- After the splinter is removed, wash the area again and cover it with a bandage.
When to seek additional medical care:
You need to seek additional medical care if:
- The splinter or other foreign body is deeply embedded or causing severe pain.
- The foreign body has a barb (like a fishhook).
- The foreign body is a BB.
- You can’t remove it.
- Site of removal looks infected (redness, red streaks, swollen, pus).
- A fever occurs.
For more information follow links below.
- Splinters and Other Foreign Bodies in the Skin (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- First Aid: Splinters (KidsHealth)