Friday, June 10, 2016

Needle Felting Can Be Dangerous

It should come as no surprise when you examine a needle felting tool that you might hurt yourself when felting. We just didn't realize how badly you could hurt yourself!

Viva has had her Klutz needle felting kit for a year or more and has made a couple of felted animals. Two weeks ago she brought the kit out and Jake decided he, too, wanted to make a felted animal. The concept is simple--you take a piece of wool roving (wool prepare for spinning) and you form a small ball or egg and then you punch it hundreds of times with your felting tool. It shrinks as it binds in on itself.

The trick to needle felting is to not poke yourself with the needles--which are very thin and easily puncture skin. Of course, if you are holding your ball of felt and you poke it hundreds of times it is inevitable that you will at some time poke yourself instead of the ball. 

Last week when Viva and Jake were enjoying a lazy afternoon outside needle felting, Viva poked her finger with one of the needles. It didn't hurt much or bleed much, so she ignored her injury. While they were felting, they lost a little ring that goes inside the felting tool and so the twins spent a half hour or more looking through the leaves under the porch for the missing piece. It was not found. The following afternoon Viva and I spent a few hours gardening. She put on gardening gloves, but the gloves were dirty which is typical for gardening gloves.

The end result was Viva's finger became infected. Seriously infected. We tried soaking it in hot water and Epsom salts, but Viva would only use tepid water. The infection became worse looking so on Saturday (four days after the injury), Kara took Viva to the doctor's office. The doctor cut the infected area and drained it and sent a sample to the lab. An antibiotic was prescribed.

The finger looked worse the next day with a visible red line, but since she was on antibiotic, we didn't have to panic. Viva agreed to soak her finger in hot (not just warm!) water and did so a few times a day. The lab results came back and she had both staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria present. The antibiotics and soaking treatments worked and her finger is doing much better now and we anticipate a full recovery.

The moral of this story? Always treat puncture wounds with an antibiotic and a Band-Aid especially if you are going to play in the dirt. Take infections seriously because they can be very dangerous. We are very happy we acted promptly.

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