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Ouch! Getting a splinter can really hurt, and sometimes having a splinter pulled out can hurt even worse! Jessi's here to tell you why it's important to get your splinters removed, and some tips to make it easier!
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Summer’s a great time to play outside!

It’s fun to go barefoot on the beach and by the pool, but I always make sure to wear shoes when I’m playing outside in the yard. Shoes are the best way to protect your feet from splinters.

A splinter is a tiny, sharp piece of something that gets stuck in your skin. When you think of splinters, you might usually think of ones made of wood, but splinters can also be tiny pieces of glass, metal, or plastic. Splinters can get stuck in your skin when they break off of something, like a piece of wood from playground equipment.

Sometimes, they don’t go into the skin very far, and they fall right out without you even noticing them. But other times, they get go deeper, get stuck … and stay stuck, until someone pulls them out. Usually, these kinds of splinters will hurt a little bit when they go into your skin.

And if they go into your skin deep enough, you might bleed. But a lot of times, a splinter can get stuck in your skin without you even noticing it. You don’t even realize you have one until you do something that accidentally pushes the splinter deeper into your body.

Then … ouch! If you don’t notice a splinter right away, the skin around the splinter can gets a little puffy and red and sore. These are all signs that your body has noticed the splinter, and it’s getting ready to heal your skin.

These signs also mean your body is doing its best to keep the splinter from going deeper into the skin. But your body can't always heal from a splinter properly on its own. That's why if you notice that you get a splinter, it’s important to tell a grownup so that they can help take it out.

Splinters, especially the ones made of wood, or another piece of a plant, like a cactus thorn or prickle from a rosebush, can be covered with germs. When germs get inside of your body, they can start to multiply and make more germs. That's what's called an infection.

So removing the splinter—and the germs that might be on it— is important! There’s actually not a lot that goes into removing a splinter. Basically, your job is to hold still while someone uses a tool called tweezers to grab onto the splinter and pull it out.

Before the person helping you gets started, you should wash the area around the splinter with warm water and soap. That will help to get rid of any germs on your skin, which can help keep you from getting an infection. Soaking the area around the splinter in warm water will also help to soften your skin, which can make the splinter easier to remove.

If the splinter is completely under your skin — meaning, it's not sticking out anymore, the person removing the splinter might need to gently push the splinter until a little piece is sticking out. Then they can use a tool called tweezers to grab onto the splinter. Then, they’ll gently pull … and with a little luck, the splinter will come right out!

Afterward, it’s a good idea to wash the area again with warm water and soap, and then cover it with a bandage. A few days later you should be as good as new! There are a few things you can do to keep from getting splinters.

One thing you can do is to be careful when you’re playing outside around plants that might have thorns or prickles. You can also try not to rub your hands over pieces of wood that are rough or worn out. And, of course, one of the best things you can do to keep from getting splinters in your feet is to wear shoes.

Now, I’m going to put on my shoes and head outside to play Thanks for joining us for this episode of SciShow Kids! If you'd like to continue learning and having fun with me and Squeaks, make sure to hit the subscribe button and join us every week here at the Fort!