Ouch! 3 of the Best Methods to Remove Splinters

Splinters are the worst, especially when your kids have them. No parent likes to see their child in pain, and since splinters usually happen unexpectedly, your little one can go from smiling and happy to crying and miserable in about .2 seconds. And since kids spend so much more time outside in the Summer and are more likely to get little splinters here and there, there are a few ways you can remove them as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Before you decide which method you want to use, you should always do two main things no matter what: wash your hands and the affected area with warm, soapy water and gently pat dry, making sure to avoid applying pressure directly to the splinter, and inspect the splinter to see which direction it's lodged into the skin and how deep. You may need to use a magnifying glass or move to an area with better or natural lighting.

1. Tweezers

Is the splinter protruding outside of the skin? If yes, sterilize a pair of tweezers by applying rubbing alcohol with a cotton ball, and use the sterilized tweezers to remove the splinter by gently grasping and pulling the protruding part of the splinter in the same direction as it entered the skin. This is a tried and true method that is always quick and painless if the splinter is slightly sticking out. Just tell your little one a corny joke, and it'll be over before they know it!

2. Banana Peel

Is the splinter only somewhat protruding outside of the skin? If so, cut a small square of a banana peel or slice of potato and use a bandage to keep the peel or the slice in place over the splinter (if using a banana, use the inside peel, face down). Leave the peel or slice on for a couples hours or overnight and the splinter should rise for easy removal. At this point, you can refer to method one.

3. Thin Needle and Cotton Ball

This isn't the best method to use when you have an upset child, but it might be necessary if the whole splinter is under the skin. If it is, sterilize a thin needle and a pair of tweezers with a cotton ball. Use the sterilized needle to gently pierce the surface of the skin above the splinter. Now that you have access to the splinter, use the needle to gently push the splinter until you have access to a protruding part of it. Next, use the sterilized tweezers to remove the splinter by pulling it out the same direction as it entered the skin. Since anything having to do with needles is usually a no-go for kids, try putting on their favorite TV show or giving them a tablet to distract them.

No matter which method you choose, always make sure to avoid squeezing the splinter, as this may cause it to break into smaller fragments that will be more difficult to remove. After it's out, apply antibacterial ointment, and keep the area covered with a bandage until it's healed. And while many splinters may be easily removed at home, if a splinter is too deep and you can't remove it on your own, it's best to get help and promptly seek medical attention.