An injury to the eye can be a medical emergency. It is important for parents to know exactly how to respond to avoid exacerbating the injury and causing permanent damage to the eye. Here are a few basic first aid tips for dealing with debris in the eye from MedlinePlus.
First Aid for Eyes
Debris on the eye or eyelid
The best way to remove very small objects from the eye, such as sand or an eyelash, is through blinking and tears. If this fails to work, wash your hands and examine the child’s eye in a well-lit area. Ask the child to look in different directions until you locate the debris. You may need to pull down the lower lid or flip up the upper lid over a cotton swab to find the object.
Try to remove the debris using clean water, but if it refuses to come out, use a fresh cotton swab. Throughout the process, never touch the eye with your finger or allow the child to rub the eye.
The sensation of grit in the eye is normal for a day or two, but if your child continues to experience discomfort or blurred vision, you should see a doctor.
Debris stuck in the eye
If debris is embedded in the eye, seek medical attention straight away. Before you leave home, wash your hands and bandage both eyes (to prevent eye movement) using gauze or a sterile dressing. For large debris, tape a paper cup or cone over the injured eye.
Cuts and scratches
In the case that debris causes a cut or scratch, use a cold compress, without applying pressure, to reduce swelling and stop any bleeding. If blood is pooling in the eye, cover both eyes with a clean cloth or bandage. Once again, your child needs to get to a doctor as soon as possible.
You can protect your kids’ eyes from debris by making sure that they always wear eye protection when outdoors. Shades in the Real Kids collection feature shatterproof polycarbonate lenses and 100 percent UV protection to keep kids’ eyes safe.