A Cut Near Your Child's Eye: What to Do

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A Cut Near Your Child's Eye: What to Do

It always hurts to see your child hurt. You want what’s best to keep them safe and set them on the road to healing. If your child gets a cut near their eye, you may wonder when it’s minor enough to treat yourself and when you need a doctor.

All cuts (i.e., lacerations) have the potential for infection. That’s why it’s important to gently wash with soap and water any cut or skinned area your child suffers during the course of school or play.

But when your child gets a cut near their eye, you may panic. How do you clean such a cut safely? Will the cut affect their vision? When do they need a doctor?

At Academy Park Pediatrics, PCour team is trained to treat all kinds of lacerations, including those on or around the eye, at our Lakewood and Highlands Ranch, Colorado offices. If your child suffers a cut near their eye, here’s what to do.

Stop the bleeding and clean the cut

If the cut is bleeding, apply pressure with a clean piece of gauze until the bleeding stops, but don’t use pressure for more than 10 minutes. Have your child keep their eyes closed and then gently wash the cut with warm water and soap for about five minutes.

If the cut seems to be severe or if it’s on their eyelid, have somebody call us so that we can arrange to see your child as soon as you bring them in. If the cut is minor and isn’t on the eyelid, you should be able to handle it yourself.

Protect the cut

If the cut is small, just apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. Be careful not to get any ointment into the eye itself. Apply the ointment three times a day for three days. By that time, the cut should be well on its way toward healing.

For larger cuts, after you clean and apply ointment, also apply a bandage. Be sure that the adhesive doesn’t pull on the eyelid and that the bandage doesn’t cover the eye. Change the bandage daily. Always gently clean the area before applying a new bandage.

Control the pain

If the cut is minor, your child should respond to over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen (i.e., Tylenol® or Advil®). Use as directed, as needed. However, if the pain persists despite these measures, be sure to call us. 

Call us for severe cuts or reactions

A minor cut should heal on its own within a couple of weeks, with proper care and cleaning. However, if you suspect the cut is deeper than a minor cut, is on the eyelid, or is too close to the eye, bring your child in right away. 

Seek medical care if:

  • The cut is on the eyelid or affects the eyeball
  • The child is less than one year old
  • The child’s pupils are of unequal sizes
  • Their eye is bloodshot or red
  • The bleeding doesn’t stop after 10 minutes of compression
  • Their vision is affected
  • Their pain is severe
  • The gash is deep or gaping and may require stitches
  • The cut seems deep, long, or severe
  • Your child hasn’t had a tetanus shot (i.e., DTaP, TdaP, or Td vaccines)
  • There’s bruising around the eye
  • You’re not sure what to do

Don’t worry about overreacting: If you think your child needs medical care, then call us or bring them to an urgent care clinic. We make sure your child gets the medical attention they need to avoid infection, heal well, and preserve their sight.

If your child has a cut near their eye and you’re not sure what to do, contact our friendly staff today for laceration treatment.