My son has Paronychia, a swelling around his nail quite possibly where he sucks his fingers a lot from teething. Online websites suggest "warm soaks" for 15 mins, 3-4 times a day using 50% water and 50% antibacterial soap mixture. Unfortunately, the idea that a 7month old will allow us to soak his hands for an hour a day is... well, unlikely to be agreed to by the young lad.

Just wondered if anyone else has experienced this and had any tricks up their sleeves for keeping a 7 month old's hands in the water/soap mix for this or similar treatments?

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    Why don't you go to a doctor and see if it's necessary? You don't want to play around with an infection, it can be extremely dangerous. Feb 10, 2014 at 18:30
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    While I feel for you and your problem, I also feel obligated to vote to close this question. Medical advice questions are not allowed here. This sounds serious, go see a doctor. If you don't want antibiotics, tell the doctor so. It may come as a surprise, but many doctors don't like to prescribe antibiotics, they do it because they think people want them to.
    – Dariusz
    Feb 11, 2014 at 5:43
  • Dariusz - I appreciate your feeling towards closing the question due to medical advice - I will update the question as that isn't specifically what I am looking for now.
    – Mitch Kent
    Feb 11, 2014 at 8:43
  • @MitchKent thank you for understanding. Question about "how to make my son sit still for 5 minutes for soaks" is definitely within parenting.se scope - go ahead and ask that question.
    – Dariusz
    Feb 11, 2014 at 8:58
  • @MitchKent You've already received one answer that seems to provide you what you were looking for, so rather than close the question, I took a stab at editing it to focus on the "how to soak" portion, and eliminate anything that might seem to invite discussion of diagnosis or treatment suggestions. If you don't feel this is helpful, feel free to rollback, or open a brand new question (in which case please flag this one for moderator attention so it can be closed).
    – user420
    Feb 11, 2014 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


A warm soak doesn't have to be sitting around with hands in a bowl. Try filling a sink, or, even the high chair tray (you will need to refill often probably, and, need several towels or a mop to clean spills) with the warm soapy water and a few toys and see if the baby will play. I don't know too many kids that don't like playing in soapy water. The biggest challenge in this case will be to make sure he doesn't eat/drink it. Perhaps a natural/non toxic antibiotic soap is best? I can't think of a specific product but I'm sure something exists.

  • Thank you @Jax - if I had the rep to upvote you I would have!
    – Mitch Kent
    Feb 11, 2014 at 8:49
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    A quick search shows that salt water is an option too, as I suspected. If that is indeed a correct treatment, it could be the right solution, as salt water should be no problem if he ingests some of it.
    – SQB
    Feb 11, 2014 at 22:00

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