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Eye Injury Prevention & First Aid

By Ashley Festa

Some simple guidelines will help you and your child prevent eye trauma. If an injury occurs, you can take first aid measures to prevent permanent damage to the eye and protect it while you seek immediate treatment.

Tips to prevent eye injuries

These steps will help prevent eye injuries in the home and while playing sports.

  • Wear a helmet with a polycarbonate facemask or wire shield during high-impact sports.
  • Wear safety goggles while using a device that shoots pellets, arrows, paintballs or other projectiles.
  • Wear safety goggles when handling fireworks.
  • Children who mow the lawn or do other yardwork should wear protective eye gear to avoid flying debris.
  • If older children work with any chemicals, they should wear chemical safety goggles.
  • Turn nozzles away from the face before spraying.
  • Wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays when outside, even on cloudy days.

First aid for an eye injury

If an eye injury occurs, it is important to get treatment right away to prevent permanent damage to the eye.

Serious eye trauma may require a trip to the 24-hour pediatric emergency department. Don’t try to treat it at home.

You can take measures to protect the eye before you can get to an eye doctor or emergency department.

  • Don't rub, touch or apply pressure to the eye.
  • Don't apply ointment or medicines to the eye.
  • Apply a gentle bandage to a cut on the eye.
  • Don't try to remove an object stuck in the eye.
  • Don't take ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These medicines thin the blood, which may increase bleeding.
  • For chemical splashes, use fingers to separate the lids and flush the eye with clean water.

The pediatric eye care specialists at University Health can help with any eye condition your child may develop. We treat common and complex eye conditions, from pink eye and eye misalignment to eye trauma and decreased vision.


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