17 answers

How to Deal with Small Splinters in Toddler Hands?

My 1 1/2 year old son has multiple small wood splinters in both of his hands after playing outside near some railroad ties in our garden last week. I did manage to remove the largest of them all, however there are several smaller ones still inside his little hands. They do not appear red or infected in any way at this point. Should I try to dig them out (not to easy to do) or will they just "grow out" and be fine? Any advice on removing them if you think I should go ahead and attempt that? Thanks!!

What can I do next?

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If you really want to get them out quickly and painlessly, we use a big piece of tape, like packing tape, press it on gently not so that it will stick and then pull it off. All the small splinters will pull right out.

1 mom found this helpful

K.,

This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it works on a lot of splinters. Elmer's glue! Dab a bit on the splinters and wait for it to dry, peel off in the direction that the splinter entered (if you know) and a lot of the time, they come out. The little splinters are a bit harder to do this with, but I know how wiggly kids are. And mine is terrified of being in pain, or at least she acts that way!

Good luck. I don't think the little tiny eety bity splinters are much to worry about. Maybe try a sugar or salt and soap exfoliant rub in a week. That would be fun?!

V.

More Answers

If you really want to get them out quickly and painlessly, we use a big piece of tape, like packing tape, press it on gently not so that it will stick and then pull it off. All the small splinters will pull right out.

1 mom found this helpful

The smaller ones will be fine if you leave them alone. If they are not hurting him, leave them. But if they are hurting him or getting infected, before you take them out apply numzit or oragel to the area first wait a min. then remove the sliver. A doctor told me it's basically what they use.

Just try to keep his hands clean to prevent infection. The splinters will eventually work themselves out. Try to avoid the splinters by giving your son special play gloves for playing in that area in the future.

Digging them out can be painful and is unnecessary the majority of the time. I have found that if you leave it alone it will work itself out. If it isn't red or swollen leave it alone. Especially if it is on the harder skin parts of the hands or feet, just best to leave it alone.
You can soak that area in warm water too to help it work itself out, you can try to gently squeeze that area, but don't dig it out as that can get infected that way.
Cover the area if it seems to be getting infected or red, put neosporin or something like that. Hee hee. My kids freak if I even suggest getting splinters out, typically in a few days it came out by itself.

I think you should try to remove them. After soaking in warm water (yeah and good luck they're so fidgety at this age) then you can try to push them out. Also putting elmers glue on them and letting it dry (if part of the splinter is exposed) and then peeling it off would work to get them too. Good luck. They will probably get infected and hurt if you leave them.

Our now almost two year old got a lot of splinters whenever we went to the family cabin last summer. The big ones we were able to get out, but the little ones we left. I felt that we would cause her more harm and distress by trying to dig them out. They eventually came out in baths or when I would wash her hands with a washcloth after her meals.

My first thought was to soak them in hydrogen peroxide. This will help with the possibility of infection and the bubbles may help workout the splinters and it doesn't hurt.

Have him play in warm soapy water for a while. sometimes they will soak out

If they are really small I wouldn't worry about them too much. But I have heard that if you put a bandaid over them for a couple of days they will fester up and pop out on their own without having to dig in there. That might not work because he is so little, but it is worth a shot.
J.--SAHM of 6

K.,

This may seem like a strange thing to do, but it works on a lot of splinters. Elmer's glue! Dab a bit on the splinters and wait for it to dry, peel off in the direction that the splinter entered (if you know) and a lot of the time, they come out. The little splinters are a bit harder to do this with, but I know how wiggly kids are. And mine is terrified of being in pain, or at least she acts that way!

Good luck. I don't think the little tiny eety bity splinters are much to worry about. Maybe try a sugar or salt and soap exfoliant rub in a week. That would be fun?!

V.

Several years ago my daughter did the same thing, I called the doctor, and was told to let her do the dishes with me, the hands in the warm water will help get them out sooner, no need to dig and make everyone miserable. Good luck

I would reccomend using a pummice scrubber when he takes a bath to help get rid of those pesky splinter remains, be sure to soak beforehand. It should remove the majority of the embedded splinters during the first round pretty quickly.

My son got the same thing in his hands, feet, and knees from a new deck we had when he was the same age -- just over a year. Fortunately for him we had a drs appt and I asked the doctor about it. He said digging out the small splinters can do more harm than good. Just keep an eye on them to make sure they don't start festering/get infected (those would need to be removed) and let them play.
The warm soapy water mentioned by others is a good idea too -- keeps their hands clean to fight any chance of infection and may help get the splinters out.

My son had a huge splinter in his foot from running on a wood deck last summer. 3 at the time and he would not let me touch it and it was a huge fight so i thought I would wait until he went to sleep and got a sterile needle and worked it out he had no clue and he's really not that heavy of a sleeper. He woke up and realized it was gone and now thinks a splinter fairy comes when he sleeps if he has a splinter. He got another one in his hand a few months later and when I went to look at it he told me not to worry because the splinter fairy would be there that night to take it out. Regardless to say she came and the splinter came out without any fights. That was just my little story if they are not red and festering and pretty small I would just let them be. Digging at them could lead to an infection that otherwise wouldn't have happened. but if it starts to fester maybe a seasalt soak and the splinter fairy could help the situation out quite a bit.

They should work themselves out over time, but make sure to keep his hands clean and watch for incfection in the mean time. Also, make sure he's 100% up to date on his tetanus vaccinations - old railroad ties could be an infection source.

My grandma used to soak splinters/slivers in hot water with epsom salts. It seemed to help. Put some marbels or toys in the pan so he'll keep his hand in it, and supervise him closely.

My daughter had a bunch of little ones, too. I tried to get them out but it didn't work, so I left them alone. Now they are almost all out. Just keep his hands clean. It's amazing how our bodies know how to work through these things!

My son would get splinters from our old fence, and he hates when we remove them. I found that I could get them out when he is sleeping at night. I just made sure that it was an hour or so after he passed out, and he was really out for the night. Good luck!

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