CHOC Children's

Splinters

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 him/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. Antibiotics may be needed.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Common Childhood Injuries & Poisonings

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It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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