Easy Splinter Removal for Kids: First Aid Essentials for Parents

Easy Splinter Removal Tricks

mother looking at child's finger

Splinters. They’re pesky little shards of wood, metal, plastic, or glass that get stuck under your child’s skin; who knew such a tiny impaled object could cause so many tears in little kids?!  Splinters are seriously painful! If removing a splinter from a child feels like you’re performing major surgery, you’re in the right place. You’ll find three easy splinter removal tips and tricks that you can use to make splinter removal much less painful- for both you and your kid!

Splinters are an easy thing to take care of at home, without ever seeing a doctor and they will work themselves out of the skin over time. But you shouldn’t ignore them, especially if they’re causing your little one pain or discomfort. Splinters can become infected if left under the skin for too long.

Before You Remove a Splinter:

Check for signs of infection before trying to remove a splinter:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pus draining from the wound
  • Severe pain even without movement

If the splinter has become infected, see a doctor for removal.

There’s a First Aid Essentials cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

Old School Splinter Removal

Most of us have harsh memories of our parents poking around our splinters with needles and tweezers. It hurt like heck, but they got the splinter out. Eventually. And left most of us scarred for life.

While this method is effective, it’s not my first choice for squirming little kids who find splinters to be a life or death medical emergency. Trying to poke around with a needle and tweezers while your preschooler is flailing on the couch screaming isn’t fun for anyone. And it’s not an efficient way to get the splinter out.

Here are a few easy splinter removal tricks to try first!

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Easy Splinter Removal Tricks

Baking Soda Paste

  • Make a thick paste of baking soda and water
  • Dab a small amount on the splinter area
  • Cover with a band-aid (or duct tape)
  • Leave on for at least 30 minutes, but honestly, the longer, the better, and then take the band-aid off.
  • The splinter should be out or protruding much more, making it easy to pull it out with your fingers or tweezers.

Drawing Salve

  • Dab a small amount of salve on the splinter area
  • Cover with a band-aid (or duct tape)
  • Leave it on overnight and then take the band-aid off
  • The splinter should be out or protruding much more, making it easy to pull it out with your fingers or tweezers.

What is a drawing salve? PRID Drawing Salve and Icthammol Ointment are the two most common salves. They work by softening the skin around the splinter and enabling the body to eject the foreign object more easily. The body does naturally, but by moisturizing the area, you are encouraging it to work more quickly. Drawing salves are often dark and stinky. Fair warning.


Oral Syringe

This is the method I always try first. It’s super quick. But if it doesn’t work, then I move to one of the other two listed above and give it a little time. Mostly because I’ve genuinely ticked off my child and they don’t want me coming near them to try to remove the splinter anyway.

  • Wash the area good with warm water and soap. This serves to soften the skin and disinfect the area.
  • Place the hole of the oral syringe right over the splinter.
  • Quickly pull the plunger towards you. You’re creating suction and ‘sucking’ the splinter out.
  • Usually, this gets small splinters out on the first try!

Only try this once- maybe twice if your child is calm enough.

Want to see me do this? Check out the video in the toolkit!

There’s a First Aid Essentials cheat sheet in the toolkit grab yours today!

Three easy splinter removal tips and tricks that you can use to make splinter removal much less painful- for both you and your kid!

Tips for Easy Splinter Removal

  • Splinters are painful. If your child is having a hard time with the pain, try a bee-sting swab to dull the pain.
  • Always wash the area thoroughly with warm water and soap once the splinter comes out. We want to prevent infection if the splinter had anything gross on it. You can also dab the area with a betadine solution once it’s clean (for extra precaution).
  • Please, please don’t use glue. I’ve seen this shared in mom’s groups as an easy splinter removal trick entirely too many times. Folks suggest using wood glue or Elmer’s glue because it sticks to the splinter and then when the glue is dry, you peel it off, and the splinter comes with it. Here’s the problem with that method: often the splinter breaks OR some of the child’s skin comes off too. Then you’re left with a potentially more dangerous situation, and you still haven’t gotten the splinter out! So please, try one of my three suggestions first. If those don’t work, head to urgent care.

 

And that’s it! Three, easy splinter removal tricks you can try with your kids! Which one do you think you’ll try first? Let me know in the comments!

Like this post? Check out some others in the First Aid Essentials Series!

Until Next time! Chrissie

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