Eye injuries in children can be extremely dangerous and painful. KidsStreet Urgent Care is here to educate you on the common causes, types, symptoms, and treatment options of eye injuries in kids.
Most Common Causes Of Eye Injuries
Kids can sustain eye injuries doing anything. However, children that play sports or are involved in physical activities are more prone to experiencing eye injuries than children that do not.
Additional causes of eye injury in kids include:
- Blunt force trauma to the eye or eyelid
- Foreign body in the eye
- Chemical burns on the eyes
- Eye scratches
Types Of Eye Injuries In Kids and Treatment Methods
There are seven types of injuries to the eyes that are typically seen in children: black or bruised eye, corneal abrasion, fracture of the orbit, eyelid lacerations, foreign objects, hyphema, and chemical burns.
KidsStreet Urgent Care offers minor eye injury treatment in our urgent care services for kids.
Black and Bruised Eyes in Kids
Ecchymosis, or black/bruised eyes, is caused by force on the eye that causes a bruise. This can result from anything that hits your child’s eye.
If your child sustained a black eye, they may experience bruising, swelling, and some pain for several days, but the condition should resolve on its own. You can treat this with cold compresses and over-the-counter medications.
This condition is generally not serious but should be checked out by a provider to ensure there is no damage to the orbital socket.
Corneal abrasion is a term that refers to a scratch or injury on the cornea. Any object that makes contact with the cornea can cause abrasion and is usually caused by a tiny foreign body getting lodged in the eye.
Symptoms of corneal abrasion include the following:
- Eye pain
- Constant blinking
- Child holding their eye closed
If you believe your child has an abrasion on the cornea, you should seek medical attention to ensure it is not a serious scratch. The provider may prescribe antibiotic ointment to help with the healing process. Also, if your child wears contact lenses, remove them and wash the eyes thoroughly with water.
After you’ve seen a provider and made sure it is not serious, the condition should heal in a matter of days.
Fracture Of The Orbit (Eye Bone)
An orbital fracture occurs when one of the bones that surrounds the eye (the orbit), and can be a result of being struck in the face. Orbital fractures can severely damage the eye and should be checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible.
An eyelid laceration is a cut on the eyelid. If your child sustains one of these lacerations, you should visit a provider immediately to assess if there is any damage to the eye itself, or if the cut needs sutures stitches.
Foreign Object In The Eye
Extremely small objects can become lodged in the eye and cause irritation. Symptoms of non-emergency foreign objects in the eyes consist of:
- Rubbing their eyes
- Keeping eyes closed tightly
- Eye pain or general irritation
Common foreign objects in the eyes include:
- Grass clippings
- Dust and sawdust
- Dry mucus
A sharp object such as glass and a high-speed object such as metal from a lawn mower or weed whacker are examples of less common and more serious examples of foreign objects in the eye. Sharp objects in the eye could cause permanent vision loss. Visit the emergency room immediately if you believe your child has glass or metal in their eyes.
A hyphema is a serious eye injury and needs medical attention immediately. It refers to blood in between the iris and cornea and is caused by blunt force trauma.
Chemical burns occur when a child gets any kind of chemical in their eye. Household cleaners are the most common culprit of this condition. Additionally, chemical burns can cause vision damage or loss. Take your child to the emergency room if they get any kind of chemical in their eyes.
Preventing Eye Injuries In Children
Eye injuries in kids can be serious and painful, meaning that you should try to prevent them whenever possible.
If your child plays sports, you should always ensure they are practicing proper eye safety and wearing the right equipment such as helmets, face masks, or any protective wear for the child’s head.
Additional ways to prevent eye injuries in kids include the following:
- Keeping them inside while mowing the lawn or using power tools
- Ensure all chemicals are out of reach
- Make sure older children wear protective eyewear when playing sports or games
Turn To KidsStreet Urgent Care
Is your child struggling with a minor eye injury? KidsStreet can help them heal and feel better, fast!
To visit a clinic, register online ahead of your visit. You and your child will be able to wait from home or your vehicle until we are ready to see you.
We always welcome walk-ins at KidsStreet, but please be aware that walk-ins are added to the same queue as those who register online. Registering online reduces in-clinic wait times.