Home FAQ Eye Pediatric Ophthalmology What can I do if my child’s eye is injured? What can I do if my child’s eye is injured?

What can I do if my child’s eye is injured?


You can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye, but more serious injuries require medical attention. Injuries to the eye are the most common preventable cause of blindness; so when in doubt, err on the side of caution and call for help.

Routine Irritations (sand, dirt, and other “foreign bodies” on the eye surface)

  • Do not try to remove any “foreign body” except by flushing.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before touching the eyelids to examine or flush the eye.
  • Do not touch, press, or rub the eye, and do whatever you can to keep the child from touching it (a baby can be swaddled as a preventive measure).
  • Tilt the child’s head over a basin with the affected eye down and gently pull down the lower lid, encouraging the child to open her eyes as wide as possible. For an infant or small child, it is helpful to have a second person hold the child’s eyes open while you flush.
  • Gently pour a steady stream of lukewarm water from a pitcher across the eye. Sterile saline solution can also be used.
  • Flush for up to fifteen minutes, checking the eye every five minutes to see if the foreign body has been flushed out.
  • Since a particle can scratch the cornea and cause an infection, the eye should be examined by a doctor if there continues to be any irritation afterwards.
  • If a foreign body is not dislodged by flushing, it will probably be necessary for a trained medical practitioner to flush the eye.

What if something penetrated my child’s eye
– Call for emergency medical help.
– Cover both eyes (the unaffected eye must be covered to prevent movement of the affected eye). If the object is small, use eye patches or sterile dressing for both. If the object is large, cover the injured eye with a small cup taped in place and the other eye with an eye patch or sterile dressing. The point is to keep all pressure off the globe of the eye.
– Keep your child (and yourself) as calm and comfortable as possible until help arrives.

What if something penetrated my child’s eye
– Call for emergency medical help.
– Cover both eyes (the unaffected eye must be covered to prevent movement of the affected eye). If the object is small, use eye patches or sterile dressing for both. If the object is large, cover the injured eye with a small cup taped in place and the other eye with an eye patch or sterile dressing. The point is to keep all pressure off the globe of the eye.
– Keep your child (and yourself) as calm and comfortable as possible until help arrives.

What if a chemical entered my child’s eyes
– Many chemicals, even those found around the house, can damage an eye. If your child gets a chemical in the eye and you know what it is, look on the product’s container for an emergency number to call for instructions.
– Flush the eye (see above) with lukewarm water for 15 to 30 minutes. If both eyes are affected, do it in the shower.
– Call for emergency medical help.
– Call your local poison control center for specific instructions. Be prepared to give the exact name of the chemical (if you have it).
– Cover both eyes with sterile dressings, and keep them covered until help arrives.

What to do if my child get a black eye
A black eye is often a minor injury, but it can also appear when there is significant eye injury or head trauma. A visit to your doctor or an eye specialist may be required to rule out serious injury, particularly if you’re not certain of the cause of the black eye.
For a “simple” black eye:
– Apply cold compresses intermittently: five minutes to 10 minutes on, 10 minutes to 15 minutes off. If you are not at home when the injury occurs and there is no ice available, a cold soda will do to start. If you use ice, make sure it is covered with a towel or sock to protect the delicate skin on the eyelid.
– Use cold compresses for 24 to 48 hours, then switch to applying warm compresses intermittently. This will help the body reabsorb the leakage of blood and may help reduce discoloration.
– If the child is in pain, give acetaminophen? Not aspirin or ibuprofen, which can increase bleeding.
– Prop the child’s head with an extra pillow at night, and encourage her to sleep on the uninjured side of her face (pressure can increase swelling).
– Call your doctor, who may recommend an in-depth evaluation to rule out damage to the eye. Call immediately if any of the following symptoms appear:
* increased redness
* drainage from the eye
* persistent eye pain
* distorted vision
* any visible abnormality of the eyeball
If the injury occurred during one of your child’s routine activities such as a sport, follow up by investing in an ounce of prevention – protective goggles or unbreakable glasses are vitally important.

What if my child needs to wear glasses
Shortly after birth, your baby’s eyes should be examined for vision problems and signs of disease. An infant’s eyes can be checked by an ophthalmologist through a dilated pupil even though the tiny patient is too young to give verbal responses to testing. Remember, the earlier any potential problem is detected, the earlier it can be corrected.
If your child needs glasses, there are several factors to consider when purchasing them.
Get the Best Lenses
For most children, the ideal lens is made of polycarbonate. It’s strong, lightweight and shatterproof, safety factors for active toddlers and budding athletes. Polycarbonate does scratch easily, so a scratch-resistant coating is usually a good idea.
Find the Right Frames and a Good Fit

The lens prescription will frequently influence what sort of frame you should choose for your child’s glasses; certain kinds of frames work poorly with certain kinds of lenses. Your Eye M.D. will explain the options. When possible, purchase glasses from a pediatric ophthalmologist, and be sure to investigate the various devices available to ensure a proper fit:
– Silicone nose pads with non-skid surfaces will prevent frames from slipping.
– Comfort cables secure children’s glasses by wrapping around their ears. Comfort cable temples are available for frame sizes worn by infants one to four years old.
– Flexible hinges bend outward, useful for a child who pulls the temples away from their head when removing their glasses.
– Straps may be needed to replace ear pieces in babies. Infants wearing straps are able to roll or lay on their side without discomfort or dislodging the glasses.
– Shop for your child the way you would for yourself? try to match the frame style to the child’s facial shape and features. The more a kid likes their glasses, the more care they may take with them.
Selling Your Child on Glasses

If the child is old enough, let him or her choose the frames. Say nice things about your child’s new glasses, and talk to siblings beforehand to keep teasing to a minimum. Some infants will simply refuse to wear the glasses and pull them off. Don’t fight it, just be persistent. Put the glasses on the baby and then stage some sort of distraction. If the baby pulls them off again, set them aside and wait awhile before trying again.
If you have questions about the fit of the glasses, take your child back to the Eye doctor If your child continues to remove the glasses, talk to your doctor for further help.