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First Aid for the Eyes

To reduce the risk of lasting (permanent) damage caused by eye injuries, it's important to treat them right away. Talk with your child's eye care provider (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 their eye.

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

  • Don’t wash out your child's eye.

First aid for small particles in the eye

Here are ways to help your child:

  • Tell your child not to rub their eye.

  • Pull your child's upper lid down onto the lower lid and have them 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 their eye.

Get medical care right away if the above methods don’t work, or if it still feels like something is in the eye after the particle has been removed.

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.

  • Get emergency 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.

  • If an object is stuck in the eye, do not try to pull it out. Apply a loose bandage and get emergency medical care.

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

Online Medical Reviewer: Chris Haupert MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Whitney Seltman MD
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2023
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