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, PC, our 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.