Those pesky little slivers of wood.  They show up in places we’d otherwise consider safe!  What is an easy and pain-free way to remove a splinter, especially from a small hand or foot?

First of all, make sure your hands are clean and the area around the splinter is clean.  While you don’t want to get the splinter wet (wood swells with water), you do want to make sure the area around it is clean.  Soap and water are fine choices for cleaning, or an alcohol pad will do just great as well.  Sterilize a needle and tweezers.  Make sure the tweezers have a blunt end and are not beveled. 

Make sure that you will be pulling WITH the splinter.  You want to take it out exactly the way it came in.  If the end is sticking out of the skin, try to grab it with the tweezers.  Or, use the needle to gently scrape away a bit of the skin around the splinter top to make for an easier “grab”. 

Another easy way to remove a splinter that is above the skin’s surface is with heavy-duty tape, such a duct tape or packing tape.  Or, put a dab of hair remover or dilapatory on the it, wait for it to dry, then peel off.  Just remember, in both cases to pull back in the direction the splinter entered the body to avoid breaking it off inside the skin.

If children are upset, wait until they are calmed down to remove it.  Distract them with a story or with a game.  Let your child practice on a stuffed animal, and try out the tweezers on a part of the body without the splinter, so they can see how gentle you will be.  And, if all else fails, wait until your child is alseep to try and remove the splinter.

Most times, splinters can work themselves out in about a week.  But, if you notice soreness, redness or oozing from the spot, call a doctor.

And, once it is all said and done, be sure to wash the area off with soap and water, administer a little T.L.C. give a kiss and perhaps a cool band aid.