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First Aid for the Eyes

To reduce the risk of lasting (permanent) damage caused by eye injuries, it is important to treat eye injuries right away. Talk with your child's healthcare provider or eye care specialists (ophthalmologist or optometrist) as soon as possible.

First aid for cuts in or around the eye

Do's and don'ts include:

  • Gently bandage your child's eye.

  • Don’t apply pressure to your child's eye.

  • Tell your child not to rub his or her eye.

  • Don’t try to remove any particles from your child's eye.

  • Don’t wash out your child's eye.

First aid for foreign objects in the eye

Here are ways to help your child:

  • Tell your child not to rub his or her eye.

  • Pull your child's upper lid down onto the lower lid and have him or her to blink repeatedly. The lower eyelashes may sweep the particle away.

  • Use an eye wash to wash out the speck or object from your child's eye.

  • Tell your child to close his or her eye.

You should seek medical care right away if the above methods don’t work.

First aid for chemical splashes

Here is what you can do:

  • Use fingers to separate your child's eyelids, then flush the eye with water from a faucet or clean container.

  • Seek medical care right away.

  • Cover your child's eye.

First aid for physical injury to the eye

Here is what you can do:

  • Right away, gently apply small cold compresses to your child's eye without applying pressure. This can help reduce pain and swelling.

  • Contact your child's healthcare provider or eye care specialists (ophthalmologist or optometrist) right away.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bogus, William J., OD, FAAO
Online Medical Reviewer: Haupert, Christopher L., MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2018
© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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