We often get great tips from readers and today’s tip comes to you courtesy of Margie from Illinois. She says:

“When we traveled with our kids when they were younger, we would bring a few things in our “medical” bags. They always got small splinters from playgrounds, benches, and picnic tables.. We would always carry a small roll of duct tape, the more colorful the better, a small set of tweezers AND our secret weapon …. some teething numbing gel! The teething numbing gel would numb the area enough to let us use tweezers to get out the splinter. Sometimes, if the splinter wasn’t too deep, we also would use a small piece of duct tape over the area.. Worked like a charm!”

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Now that Johnny and I have two little kids, we’re always interested in hearing great hacks for parents and I’d never heard of using teething numbing gel for splinters. It’s a great idea and gives me a way to use the numbing gel I have at home since the FDA does not support the use of any numbing creams on babies’ gums. I’ll just throw it in my toiletry bag in case of splinters – thanks, Margie!

For more tips on getting splinters out of kids’ fingers, I checked in with my good friend and board certified internist, Dr. Flora Sinha. She says she’s never heard of the teething numbing gel trick before but she’s a fan of making a baking soda paste to help remove splinters. Here’s what she recommends if your child gets a splinter:

  1. Calm the child.
  2. Wash area with soap and water.
  3. Ice the area for a few minutes (wrap ice in a thin cloth).
  4. Sterilize tweezers using rubbing alcohol.
  5. Take out splinter if sticking out.
  6. Otherwise, apply baking soda paste (1 tbsp water plus 1 tbsp baking soda) across splinter and cover with a Band-Aid.
  7. Leave alone for 24 hours and watch the area for signs of infection. Keep the area clean and dry.
  8. If no improvement after 1-2 tries extracting splinter or if it’s too deep, go to your PCP.

Dr. Sinha also says that tape can work but instead of duct tape, she recommends cellophane. Simply place it over the splinter top, press over and pull.

You can buy teething numbing gel on Amazon for less than $10.

Natalie DiScala

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