Eye Injury Prevention Month: Common Eye Injuries In Children And What To Do

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Eye Injury Prevention Month: Common Eye Injuries In Children And What To Do

As a parent, it is important to educate your child about eye safety to protect their vision and avoid preventable eye injuries. Children can be clumsy and can accidentally cause injury to their eyes that can result in serious repercussions to their vision and eye health. Common injuries in children are often caused by sports or other physical activity as well as entry of a foreign object into the eye. All injuries can be quite painful and require immediate medical attention to preserve your child's vision. Vision plays a critical role in a child's physical, cognitive, and social development. Despite all of your best efforts as a parent, eye injuries can still occur. In recognition of Eye Injury Prevention Month, this article will go over some of the most common eye injuries found in children and what you should do to ensure their vision remains healthy.

5 Common Eye Injuries In Children And How To Treat Them

1. Black Eye
A direct hit or trauma to the face can result in a black eye. High contact sports such as football, lacrosse, and soccer pose a higher chance of a contact injury that results in a black eye. Typically black eyes can be healed without the intervention of a doctor or medical help. Ice packs can help reduce the swelling and pain associated with the black eye and you should ensure that your child's head is constantly elevated above the body. However, if there is a pooling of blood in the front of the eyeball (known as a hyphema), it can permanently obstruct vision in the affected area. Seek emergency services as soon as possible if you notice blood in the eye.  

2. Chemical Burn
Common household cleaning products can contain highly abrasive chemicals. Make sure these products are out of reach of your children and that you are washing your hands thoroughly after using them. Depending on the type of chemical, it can cause redness, irritation, and even vision damage. If exposed, hold your child's eyes open for 15-20 minutes while continuously flushing them out with water. Product labels will often give instructions on what to do in case of eye exposure. If flushing your child's eyes out with water does not reduce the irritation, or if your child's eyes were exposed to large amounts of the chemical, seek medical attention immediately.

3. Corneal Abrasion
Often while playing sports or just being outside in general, dust, sand, and grass can get kicked into your child's eyes causing a corneal abrasion. A corneal abrasion is a surface-level scratch on the eyeball that can also be caused by the graze of a fingernail or from being poked. Corneal abrasion injuries require immediate medical attention to determine the extent of the injury and for your child to receive proper treatment that will preserve their vision and eye health. 

4. Orbital Fractures
The orbit is commonly referred to as the eye socket and can be susceptible to serious fractures that require urgent medical attention. There are three types of orbital fractures:

  • Orbital Rim Fracture: Occurs at the outer edge of the bone and is the most surface-level fracture.
  • Blowout Fracture: A break within the inner wall of the eye socket.
  • Orbital Floor Fracture: This fracture pushes the eye socket bones downwards.

All three fractures require immediate medical attention to ensure no further injury has occurred to the eyeball or that other injuries such as a concussion are present. Following the injury, immediately place ice on the affected area to reduce swelling until you receive professional medical help.

5. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
A subconjunctival hemorrhage, or broken blood vessels in the eye, can be caused by hard sneezing, coughing, and other strains. Visible red patches can be seen in the white area of the eyeball (the conjunctiva) as a result of these broken blood vessels. Despite the intimidating name, the injury is not severe and will clear up on its own, usually within two weeks. To help combat irritation, over-the-counter eye drops can be used to provide temporary relief. If the condition occurs regularly or never seems to go away, contact your eye doctor to book your child in for a comprehensive eye exam.

Children’s Eye Exams Calgary | Sunridge Eye Clinic

One of the best ways to protect your child's vision and eye health is by educating them about proper eye protection and eye safety. Although most eye injuries are preventable, accidents do happen so it is important that you know how to treat common eye injuries and when you should seek medical attention. In almost all cases, injuries to the eye can be resolved if the necessary steps are taken immediately after your child gets injured. Also, ensure your child is visiting the eye doctor for regular eye exams to make certain that their eye health and vision are in check.

To learn more about caring for common children’s eye injuries or to book a children’s eye exam for your little one to ensure the quality of their vision and eye health, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic in NE Calgary. Our experienced team of optometrists will assess your child's vision and eye health and develop a personal treatment plan to help them see clearly. Book a children’s comprehensive eye exam today by calling 1-403-280-7518 or book online.

FAQ

Q: If my child has an eye injury, should I wait to book an eye doctor appointment or should I go to the emergency room?
A: If the eye injury is severe such as an orbital fracture, it is best to take your child to the emergency room immediately. For smaller injuries such as dry eyes or subconjunctival hemorrhage, you can wait to have your child assessed by your optometrist. Use your judgment and trust your gut when it comes to your child's injuries. If the irritation from the injury seems to be bothering your child significantly, then it may be best to take them to an emergency room.

Q: How often should my child get an eye exam performed?
A: The Alberta Association of Optometrists recommends that children receive a comprehensive eye exam annually. 

Q: How long does a children’s eye exam take?
A: A children’s eye exam typically lasts for 30 minutes to an hour depending on the tests your optometrist performs on your child.


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