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Protecting Your Child's Eyes and Vision

What Should I Do in an Eye Emergency?

Here are four first aid tips for eye injuries:

  • If your child spills something in his or her eye and you don't know what it is, or if there are acid or alkaline substances in it, flush your child's eye with water for at least 20 minutes and have someone call for medical help or the local poison control center. Do not stop flushing your child's eye until medical help arrives unless instructed otherwise. If possible, show the chemical to health care providers.
  • If your child is hit in the eye with a blunt object, examine the eye closely. If you see bleeding, or cannot open the child's eyelids and observe normal looking pupils, you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • If your child continues to be in pain, constantly rubs his or her injured eye, or complains of blurry or double vision, call the doctor. In the meantime, cover your child's injured eye with a cold pack for 15 minutes every hour or so. If you are using an ice pack, wrap it in a moistened cloth so the eye does not become damaged from freezing.
  • If your child's eye is injured with a sharp object, do NOT press on the eye or eyelid. Cover the eye with a shield (the cut-out bottom of a foam cup would do) and seek immediate medical attention. If the sharp object is still in the child's eye DO NOT remove it. Instead cover the eye and call 911.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD on April 03, 2014

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