What To Do If Your Child Has A Splinter & How To Remove It

It's pretty much a given fact: your kids are going to injure themselves at one point or another. Probably several times over the course of their childhood! Scraped knees, bruises, busted lips, even broken bones - stuff like this is just part of the whole parenting package. If you're a parent, it's a good idea to brush up on your basic first aid skills, so you can deal with these little bumps and bruises as they happen. One of the most important skills you can possess, particularly if your kids play outside a lot, is how to remove a splinter. Some of the those suckers get in there pretty good! But we've got some tips on how to remove splinters as easily and painlessly as possible.

What Is A Splinter?

A splinter is a thin sliver of wood or some other material punctures the skin and becomes embedded in the flesh. They're pretty common on fingers, hands, and feet. You can remove most splinters at home, depending on where the splinter is located and how deeply it's embedded in the skin, the size of the splinter, and the direction of the splinter. Remember to always wash your hands with warm, soapy water before removing a splinter. If the area around the splinter is red, warm, swollen, or oozing pus, it's likely become infected and you should seek medical attention rather than trying to remove the splinter yourself.


Small, easy-to-access splinters are most easily removed using a pair of tweezers. Make sure to disinfect the tweezers with rubbing alcohol first, and thoroughly disinfect the area around the splinter. Pinch the end of the splinter that's visible out of the skin, and gently and slowly pull in the direction the splinter went in.

Duct tape

Did you know you could remove a deeply embedded splinter with duct tape? The best part about this method is that it's usually completely painless (usually, because sometimes splinters happen where this is body hair, and that'll smart when pulled off!). Thoroughly clean and disinfect the area around the splinter. Place a small piece of duct tape directly over the splinter, and wait about 30 minutes. Pull the tape off quickly, in one motion. The splinter should come out, but if it doesn't, you can repeat the process.

Little boy examines the sore leg sitting on the couch indoors. Injury, bruise, splinter. Kids trauma and safety concepts.
Credit: iStock

Needle And tweezers

If the splinter has fully punctured the skin and no part is visible, then you'll need to use a needle and tweezers. Disinfect your instruments, then use the needle to puncture the skin directly over the part of the splinter that is closest to the surface of the skin. Giving the area around the splinter a slight squeeze, use the tweezers to pinch to the now-accessible part of the splinter and slowly pull it out.

Solution To Draw Out The Splinter

Soaking a splinter to draw it out isn't a medically proven method, but plenty of people swear by it! This allegedly works on deeply embedded splinters. Some of the more popular solutions are Epsom salt and warm water, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and warm water, lavender oil, honey, or plain warm water. Soak the splinter in the solution for a few minutes, then use disinfected tweezers to slowly pull out the splinter. If this method doesn't work, and the splinter is too deep for any of the other methods, it's best to have it removed by a doctor.

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