Family Health Guide

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First Aid: Eye Injuries

If the eyeball is injured in any way, you'll need to head to the ER. Do not touch, rub, or apply pressure to the eye.  Look for bleeding, marked redness, impaired vision, or an inability to move or open the eye. If the area around the eye (the brow bone or the lid) looks like it might need stitches, apply direct pressure to stop any bleeding and then go to the ER. (If it's determined that your child does need stitches, you may want to ask if a plastic surgeon is available.)                                                                                                                                   

For a black eye or other minor bruising, a trip the doctor should be taken as a precaution. The way the eye is made, the bones around it take the force of most of the impact, though the skin here is very loose and holds a lot more blood and fluid than other areas where the skin is tighter, making a small injury look much worse than it is. Ice the area (put the ice in a sock or towel), if your child will let you, and don't be surprised if the eye is swollen shut the next day. Also, it may spread to the other eye and go down to the cheek. You can continue to offer him cold compresses and an appropriate dose of