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Eye Injuries


Eye injuries are the most common preventable cause of blindness. While many minor eye irritations can be treated at home by flushing the eye with water, more serious injuries need medical attention. So when in doubt, err on the side of caution and call your doctor for help.

What to Do:

Routine Irritations
(sand, dirt, and other foreign bodies on the eye surface)

Embedded Foreign Body
(an object penetrates or enters the globe of the eye)

If an object, such as a piece of glass or metal, is sticking out of the eye, take the following steps:

Chemical Exposure

Call your local poison control center for specific instructions. Be prepared to give the exact name of the chemical, if you have it. However, do not delay flushing the eye first.

Black Eyes and Blunt Injuries

A black eye is often a minor injury. But this bruising also can be the result of a significant eye injury or head trauma. A visit to the doctor or an eye specialist might be needed to rule out serious injury, particularly if you're not sure what caused the black eye.

For a black eye:

If the injury happened during one of your child's routine activities, such as a sport, follow up by investing in an ounce of prevention — protective goggles or unbreakable glasses are vitally important.

Date reviewed: September 2014


Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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