First Aid

Most eye injuries are minor, like getting soap in the eye or a speck of dirt under the eyelid. Others, like those that happen during sports activities or from a fall, can be serious and need medical attention.

Signs and Symptoms

  • redness around or in the eye
  • stinging or burning
  • watering
  • sensitivity to light
  • blurred vision
  • swelling of the eyelids
  • discoloration around the eye

What to Do

If you think your child has a particle in the eye or a minor irritation, be sure to:

  • Wash your hands before touching the eye area.
  • Flush the eye with water as soon as possible:
    • Tilt your child's head over a basin or sink with the injured eye pointed down.
    • Gently pull down the lower lid.
    • Gently pour a steady stream of lukewarm water over the eye.
  • Flush the eye for up to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to see if the foreign body has been flushed out.

Get Medical Care if Your Child Has:

  • been struck in the eye with a ball or other object
  • a red or irritated eye
  • eye discomfort
  • a swollen, red, or painful area around the eye or eyelid
  • an eye that's very sensitive to light

Get Emergency Care Immediately if Your Child Has:

  • trouble seeing
  • been exposed to chemicals
  • something embedded in the eye
  • severe eye pain
  • blood in the eye
  • nausea or vomiting after an eye injury

Think Prevention!

Kids who playandnbsp;sports should wear protective goggles or unbreakable glasses as needed. Keep chemicals and other hazardous objects out of the reach of children.

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD

Date Reviewed: 6/1/2018