Children are especially prone to eye injuries simply due to the nature of their growth and development. Beginning very young when they are learning to crawl or walk, they are often unsteady, and experience more falls. These can lead to various kinds of injuries, including those to the eyes. As they age, children become increasingly active – playing, running, and enjoying sports. It is not uncommon at all for us to see children who have experienced blows to the eye during a sports game.
Common eye injuries seen in children include:
Cut or scratched eyelid – small cuts will heal on their own, but deeper cuts, especially those that through the edge of the eyelid, may require sutures
Black eye – caused by blunt force trauma to the eye area; will usually clear up on its own after several weeks
Subconjunctival hemorrhage – caused by a scratched sclera (white part of the eye) and often appears as a flame-shaped bruise
Corneal abrasion – a scratched or cut cornea which can range from mild to severe in nature
Acute hyphema – a serious condition usually caused by blunt trauma that causes bleeding between the cornea and iris; you may notice the blood pooling at the bottom of the cornea
Punctured eyeball – a severe condition wherein an object, either small or large, has torn the cornea or sclera
As a parent, you want to protect your children as much as possible. That’s why it is vital to ensure they have proper eyewear if they participate in sports. Protective eyewear, such as specialized goggles or wrap around eyeglass frames with impact-resistant lenses, can dramatically reduce the chances of eye injuries.
If your child does suffer an eye injury, it is essential that you bring them in for an evaluation as soon as possible. If it is a severe injury, please visit the nearest emergency room. In many cases, early care can prevent permanent damage or vision loss, as well as increase their comfort while they heal.