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Child Eye Injuries

Child Emergency Eye Damage

Eye injuries are growing throughout children of all ages due to contact lenses, eyeglasses, and eye protection devices. In a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, contact lenses accounted for most emergency department visits where a medical device was associated. In fact, there were over 45,000 children throughout a period of 24 months who went to the emergency room because of an eye-related injury.

7 MOST COMMON EYE INJURIES IN CHILDREN

  1. Corneal Abrasions (Scratched Eye): Corneal abrasions is a scratch along the surface of they eyeball. Corneal abrasions generally caused by a foreign body poking or brushing against the eye or by rubbing the eye when foreign matter, such as dust or sand, is present under the eye lid or a contact lens.
  2. Penetrating Eye Injuries: Penetrating injuries occur when a sharp, foreign object penetrates the surface of the eye. Penetrating injuries can be exacerbated by rubbing or attempting to remove the object.
  3. Caustic Substance in the Eye: Getting splashed or sprayed with a caustic substance can cause significant chemical burns and long-term injury to the eye. Depending on the chemical involved, the symptoms and best-course of action can vary. Most commonly:
    • Acid: Acids causes considerable redness, burning, and irritation. Fortunately, acids are easily flushed out with water.
    • Alkali: Alkali (basic) chemicals do not cause immediate redness or eye pain and may be more difficult to flush out the eye. Common examples of alkali substances are toilet cleaners, oven cleaners, and chalk dust.
  4. Blunt Trauma (Swelling): Swelling and puffy eyelids often the result of a striking injury or blunt trauma. Treatment for this type of eye injury is generally consists of an ice pack to reduce swelling; however, it is best to see an eye doctor to ensure there is no internal damage.
  5. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: A subconjuctival hemorrhage is the leaking of blood from a break in that blood vessel that lies between the white of the eye and its clear covering. While painless, they can cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
  6. Traumatic Iritis: Traumatic iritis is inflammation of the iris (the colored part of the eyes around the pupil). The inflammation can be caused by a blunt or poking injury and usually requires medical attention. Even after treatment, individuals may suffer permanent vision loss.
  7. Orbital Fractures: Orbital fractures are breaks and cracks in the facial bones surrounding the eye. Blows that result in orbital fractures frequently result in hyphemas, bleeding in the anterior chamber of the eye. These injuries are considered medical emergencies and should be treated by a physician immediately.

PREVENTING EYE INJURIES IN CHILDREN

  • Children should wear eye protection made of polycarbonate when playing contacts sports, paintball, or tennis.
  • Chemicals and sprays should be kept out of reach of small children.
  • Parents and guardians should supervise children when they are using items that can cause eye injuries. This includes scissors, pencils, rubber bands, hangers, etc.
  • Only purchase age appropriate toys. Also look for toys marked with “ASTM” as these toys meet American Society for Testing and Materials’ national safety standards.
  • Do not allow children to play with dangerous products like fireworks, BB guns, pellet guns, or non-powder rifles.

HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED?

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