Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
All children need to play it safe when it comes to protecting their eyes. Eye injuries can result from mishaps that occur during sports activities; misusing toys; falling out of bed or against furniture; mishandling everyday objects such as forks, pens, or garden tools; and coming in contact with harmful household products.
Parents can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye with water, but more serious eye injuries require medical attention.
“Eye injuries that children may experience include corneal abrasions; chemical burns; hyphema, or blood in the anterior part of the eye; black eye; orbital fracture; eyelid lacerations; and foreign bodies in the eye,” says Gary Mason, M.D., an ophthalmologist on the medical staff at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital.
“Immediate medical attention is necessary if the child is in pain or has difficulty seeing, the eyelid is torn or cut, an object has punctured the eye, one eye does not move as well as the other, the pupil has an unusual size or shape, there is blood in the clear part of the eye, or if the child has experienced a forceful blow directly to the eye,” he continues.
The best way to prepare for an eye injury is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Dr. Mason offers the following tips to help parents protect their children from eye injuries:
■Avoid toys with dangerous edges, as well as points, spikes, rods, or shafts.
■Keep children away from fireworks.
■Protect children’s eyes in the sun with sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet rays.
■Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs.
■Pad sharp corners on furniture and countertops.
■Put locks on cabinets that contain hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning solutions, detergents, paints, or glues.
■Keep all sharp objects out of the reach of children.
■Keep children out of work areas.
■Make sure children have the proper protective eyewear for sports, such as the polycarbonate goggles recommended for baseball, basketball, and racket sports.
“The majority of eye injuries, such as sand or dust in the eye or a scratched cornea, require only simple treatment and heal without complications,” says Dr. Mason. “And while a black eye may look bad, most heal completely and do not cause any eye damage.”
Get First Aid from Your Phone - If you have a smartphone, you’re never far away from smart ideas for treating kids’ scrapes, cuts, and bruises. Cy-Fair Hospital’s free mobile app includes a handy First Aid Guide for families on the go. Get it today at www.CyFairHospital.com/App.