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How to Handle Pediatric Eye Injuries with Care

How to Handle Pediatric Eye Injuries with Care

Pediatric eye injuries require prompt and appropriate action to prevent complications and preserve vision. This blog discusses four ways parents can handle such emergencies: understanding common eye injuries, providing immediate first aid, creating a child-friendly environment, and seeking professional eye care. By being vigilant and seeking timely medical attention, parents can protect their child's eyes and ensure their well-being during any eye-related incidents.

Children are often touching their eyes, getting something in their eyes or feel discomfort in their eyes. Eye injuries can be treated with prompt and appropriate action to prevent complications and to preserve vision. Pediatric eye safety is of high importance but how can parents handle a sudden eye injury? 

Here are 4 ways parents can handle pediatric eye injuries: 

Understanding Pediatric Eye Emergencies: 

Children’s eyes are more delicate and vulnerable than adult eyes. For this reason, it is beneficial to have preventative measures in place to avoid children’s eye injuries. There are 3 types of eye injuries that parents should keep an eye out for : foreign objects, corneal abrasions and chemical burns.

  • Foreign objects: Dust, sand, small insects, or tiny pieces of plastic from toys getting into the eye. This can cause irritation. In some cases the object may be visible or trapped under the eyelid. Blinking gently may help the eye’s natural tears wash out the object. 
  • Corneal abrasions: A scratch or injury to the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye. This can happen due to accidental poking, scratching or rubbing of the eye. Your child may be sensitive to light or will be squinting after a corneal abrasion. Flushing the eye with clean water will help reduce discomfort. Encourage your child to not rub their eyes as this can make the abrasion worse.
  • Chemical burns: A harmful substance such as a cleaning product, pool chemicals or certain beauty products enter the eye. The eye may be red and swollen. Rapidly rinsing the eye with clean water is crucial in this case. 

Most pediatric eye injuries are preventable through adequate supervision and appropriate use of eye protection. In case of an injury, it's crucial to bring your child into our clinic for an evaluation. 

Immediate first aid measures: 

Some immediate first measures parents can take are: 

  1. Rinsing the eye out with clean water
  2. Not attempting to remove embedded objects if they are not falling out after blinking 
  3. Encouraging children to not scratch their eye 
  4. Using a warm compress if child is in discomfort
  5. Seeking medical attention 

Create a Child Friendly Environment: 
There are preventative measures that parents can put in place to reduce the probability of eye injuries such as childproofing the home and using appropriate eye protection during recreational activities. Encouraging good hygiene habits and educating children about eye safety is another measure parents and caregivers can take. 

Seeking Professional Eye Care: 

Consulting an eye care professional such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist for a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan is significant for eye injuries. A doctor can curate a treatment plan based on your child’s needs and follow up on the journey to recovery to make sure your child’s eyes and vision are not affected post injury. Prompt treatment of pediatric eye injuries significantly reduces the risk of complications and long-term vision problems. 


Around 125,000 children visit emergency departments each year due to eye problems according to the CDC. It is important to be vigilant, take immediate action and to seek professional care when dealing with pediatric eye injuries. Our doctors are available for evaluation and to provide treatment plans. Parents can take comfort in knowing that they are not alone when it comes to handling pediatric eye emergencies. We understand that such situations can be incredibly distressing for parents, as their child's well-being is of the utmost concern. Rest assured, as compassionate eye care professionals, we empathize with your worries and are here to guide you through these challenging moments.

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