It can be difficult to know how to react in the case of an eye injury, but it is important you act fast to prevent permanent damage. Here are a few tips for treating eye injuries in kids from KidsHealth.
How to Treat Eye Injuries in Kids
Dealing with a foreign body in the eye
Before you touch or examine your child’s eye, wash your hands thoroughly. Lean your child’s head back over a sink, and pull down the lower lid while your child opens the eye as wide as possible. Flush the eye with lukewarm water for up to 15 minutes, checking around every 5 minutes to see if the foreign body has washed out. Make sure your child does not touch or rub the eye even after you have finished.
If you are unable to remove the foreign body, cover the eye with a small cup, being careful not to put pressure on the eye, and take your child to the emergency room.
Dealing with blunt injuries
Apply a cold compress to the eye for between 5 and 10 minutes. Remove the compress for 10 to 15 minutes and then reapply it. Continue to use a cold compress intermittently for 24 to 48 hours before changing to a warm compress, to reduce the chances of a black eye. You can give your child acetaminophen for the pain, but avoid aspirin and ibuprofen as these can increase bleeding.
When to See a Doctor
KidsHealth recommends receiving medical attention if:
- Your child is struck in the eye by an object, such as a ball.
- The eye remains red, irritated, swollen, or painful.
- Your child shows a sensitivity to light.
You should go to the emergency room immediately if:
- Your child experiences blurred vision.
- The injury is caused by chemicals.
- The foreign object will not exit the eye.
- Your child is in severe pain, feels nauseous, or vomits.
- You notice blood in the eye.
You can prevent serious eye injuries by making sure your kids always wear protective sunglasses. Find a pair of shades with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses in the Real Kids collection.