As a parent, you never want to see your baby in distress. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and foreign objects can easily find their way into a little one’s eye. Knowing what to do and acting quickly can make all the difference in preventing serious injury or infection. Here’s what you can do if your baby gets something in their eye:
Identifying the Irritant
Before you can attempt to remove the object, it’s important to identify what you’re dealing with. Common foreign objects found in the eye include dust, dirt, sand, small pieces of metal or plastic, and even small insects. If you’re unsure what the irritant is, assume the worst and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Signs of eye irritation include redness, tearing, blinking, rubbing the eye, and sensitivity to light. If your baby is old enough to communicate, they may tell you that something is bothering their eye.
Steps for Removing the Object
If you feel confident you can remove the object safely, gather your supplies before attempting to do so. You’ll need a clean cotton swab or piece of damp cloth, saline solution, and a pair of tweezers (optional).
Secure your baby in a comfortable position, using a towel to wrap around their arms and head if necessary. Open the affected eyelid gently, and use a cotton swab or damp cloth to lift the object out. Avoid using forceps or anything with sharp edges, as these could cause further injury to your baby’s delicate eye.
If the irritant is more stubborn, you can use a saline solution to gently flush it out. Position your baby with the affected eye facing downwards, and use an eye dropper to administer the solution. Tilt their head slightly to encourage the liquid to flow out, and use a cotton swab to gently wipe away any debris.
Once the irritant has been removed, monitor your baby for signs of inflammation or infection. If they’re rubbing or blinking the affected eye frequently, it may be sore or swollen. Contact your pediatrician and report what happened, and ask if it’s necessary to administer any pain relievers or antibiotics.
To prevent future incidents, make sure your baby’s surroundings are clean and free of small objects that could easily be swallowed or end up in their eyes. Keep toxic substances and chemicals out of reach, and supervise your baby closely when they’re exploring new environments or learning to crawl.
Accidents can be scary, but knowing what to do in an emergency can help ease your anxiety and keep your baby safe. If you follow the steps above, you can remove a foreign object from your baby’s eye at home without panicking or causing further harm.