When you have a baby, you do everything in your power to protect them.
Whether it be making sure they're well-fed, or that they don't come into contact with sick family and friends, a mother's job is never done.
But, parenting doesn't come with a manual, and there's always a chance you won't know everything that can cause your child harm.
While it's a learning process, one mother from Paignton, England was horrified a strand of her hair almost cost her infant four of his toes.
"I just can't believe midwives or doctors don't warn you of the risk when you have a baby."
Last month, Alex Upton, 26, woke up in the middle of the night from the sound of her 10-week-old son Ezra's cries.
After Ezra refused her milk, Upton realized four of his toes were tangled in a strand of her brown hair, and were red and swollen - cutting off his circulation.
"I feared Ezra might lose some of his toes and he could easily have needed [to have them removed] if I hadn't noticed the hair then," she said according to Daily Mail. "It must have been on there for 12 to 14 hours because I only noticed it in the morning."
The mother-of-two said she spent more than 15 minutes untangling the hair from his toes, while frantically calling her husband Ben.
"I pulled at the hair and realized how tightly it'd wrapped around his toes. I managed to get it off except for the toe next to his big toe," Upton said. "That'd gone so tight that it got to the point where I couldn't get it off. His toes are so small that it was hard to get under the piece of hair."
"After 15 minutes, I thought I'd have to call the doctor or take him to hospital but in the end I managed to get my tweezers underneath and pulled it off."
"After that, I did take Ezra to the doctors just to be checked over and they gave me some anti-bacterial cream to put on it."
"I'll certainly be checking everything for hair from now on. I felt awful. I just can't believe midwives or doctors don't warn you of the risk when you have a baby."
"Hair easily gets stuck in things when they’ve been in the washing machine too."
Following the incident, Upton said that while Ezra is back to his "normal" self, she wants to warn other parents about this medical condition called hair tourniquet syndrome.
"My advice to any parents would be when you’re changing [your baby] or putting on socks, or even getting them out of the bath, check thoroughly and make sure you turn clothing inside out first to remove any stray hair."
"Hair easily gets stuck in things when they’ve been in the washing machine too, so it’s important to check."
According to Healthline, a baby is subjected to hair tourniquet syndrome when a thread, such as a hair, wraps around a body part and cuts off their circulation.
If it's wrapped around an appendage for too long, it can damage the nerves, skin tissue, and function of the body part in question.
The site adds that symptoms can include excessive crying, red or discolored fingers, toes, genitals, tongue or umbilical cord, mild to severe swelling, an indentation or groove on the appendage, even if the hair isn't visible.
Parents are recommended to brush their hair regularly to mitigate any loose strands falling out, have their hair tied back when interacting with their child, and be vigilant when checking their infant's toes and fingers for any signs.
[H/T: Daily Mail]
Did you know a strand of hair could be dangerous to an infant? Let us know in the comments!