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Parents > First Aid & Safety > Emergencies > Eye Injuries
Eye Injuries

Injuries to the eye are the most common preventable cause of blindness, so when in doubt, err on the side of caution and call your doctor for help.

You can treat many minor eye irritations by flushing the eye with water, but more serious injuries require medical attention.

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 Eye, Blunt Injury, or Contusion

A black eye is often a minor injury, but it can also appear when there is significant eye injury or head trauma. A visit to the doctor or an eye specialist may be required to rule out serious injury, particularly if you're not certain of the cause of the black eye.

For a black eye:

If the injury occurred 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.

Reviewed by: Jonathan H. Salvin, MD
Date reviewed: January 2011

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