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The dreaded splinter! My children used to scream bloody murder before I even touched them. It was quite an ordeal and heartbreaking too! If the splinter is metal or glass, don't try to remove it yourself, go to the doctor. Here are a few tips for making the whole process of removing a wooden one a little easier.

First, try putting a piece of tape over the splinter, then pull off the tape. Many times the splinter will come out this way, especially if you use a very sticky tape like duct tape! If this doesn't work, apply some Orajel, Ambesol, or other teething gel. This will help numb up the area. Don't use ice to numb the area since it may cause the splinter to retract further into the skin.

Sterilize your fingers and tweezers with rubbing alcohol. If you are removing the splinter from a child, have them turn away unless that makes them more nervous about what you are going to do. Push gently from underneath and grab the splinter with the tweezers. If you are removing a splinter from an adult, you may try coaxing it out with a needle, but this usually scares kids too much to be worth it. Never dig at the splinter with a needle or tweezers for more than ten minutes: you could cause tissue damage.

Splinter still there? As long as there is no pain and you do not notice any redness or swelling, leave it there! Soak the area in warm water 3-4 times a day, it may work itself out. If not, as long as the splinter is wood, the body will eventually break it down.

If the splinter is truly bothersome to you can always go to the doctor to have it removed: just remember, to avoid injury or infection, don't spend too much time trying to get it out yourself.