Conditions + Treatments

Splinters in Children

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What is a splinter?

A splinter is a sharp sliver of wood, glass or other debris that is lodged underneath the skin. Removal of small, superficial splinters can usually be done at home.

First-aid for splinters

  • Calm you child and let her know that you can help.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Wash the area with soap and water.
  • Sterilize a needle or tweezers over a match flame. Cool the tip of the needle or tweezers before using.
  • If part of the splinter is sticking out of the skin, gently try to pull the splinter out using the sterilized tweezers.
  • If the splinter is close to the surface but underneath the skin, gently prick the skin over the splinter with the sterilized needle and try to pull it out using the sterilized tweezers.
  • If the splinter is deeply imbedded or you are unable to remove it after several tries, call your child's physician.
  • Observe the area for signs of infection such as increased warmth, swelling, redness, drainage or pain. If you notice any signs of infection, call your child's physician, since antibiotics may be needed.
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