Training-Room Tips: Pain-Free Splinter Removal

Training-Room Tips: Pain-Free Splinter Removal

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

    Although splinters are often more annoying than painful, they can cause a great deal of mental distress for your students. And there are a number of places that splinters can be picked up: gym floors, playground equipment, box horses, etc.
    Many students are squeamish when it comes to the traditional methods of splinter removal, such as using a sterilized needle to pull the sliver out. So here are several alternate methods that are less painful and frightening.
Vegetable Oil Method
    Apply a few drops of vegetable oil (possibly from your staff room) to the area around the splinter. Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then use tweezers to remove the splinter. The oil will soften and lubricate the skin, allowing the splinter to slide out more easily and with less pain.
Glue Method
    Apply a thin layer of white glue, such as Elmer's, to the area. When it's dry, peel the layer off the skin. The splinters often pull out as the glue layer is removed.
Tape Method
    Put some tape (duct, athletic, Scotch) to the splinter and pull gently. The splinter will often adhere to the tape.
Soak Method
    Soak the area in warn water for a few minutes to soften the skin. Then remove the splinter with tweezers.
    If your student really hates discomfort, you can deaden the pain by applying ice or toothache medication like Orajel. Just realize that ice may cause the splinter to retract more beneath the skin.

1. How Would I Remove a Splinter from My Nephew's Foot?  Yahoo Answers, September 2008.
2. Steven Lally with Sharon Stocker Ferguson, “60 One-Minute Health Tips.” Prevention, July 1989.

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