Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Eye Injury


  • Injuries to the eye, eyelid, and area around the eye

Call or Return If

  • Pain becomes severe
  • Changes in vision occur
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse


About This Topic

Types of Injuries

  • Scratch and small cut of the eyelids or area around the eyelids
  • Bruise of the eyelids ("black eye")
  • Scratch or bruise (flame-shaped) of the white of the eye (sclera)
  • Scratch of clear part (cornea) of the eye in front of the iris. The medical name for this is a corneal abrasion.
  • The main concern is whether the vision was damaged.
  • Older children can tell us if their vision is blurred or out of focus. You can test this at home. Cover each eye in turn and have them look at a distant object.
  • Children less than 5 years often need to be examined to check the vision.


  • The main symptom is pain.
  • Tearing and blinking can also occur for a few minutes.


  • Careful adult supervision of young children
  • Education of older children about high risk behaviors

After Care Advice

Small Cuts, Scratches or Scrapes:
  • For any bleeding, put direct pressure on the wound. Use a gauze pad or clean cloth. Press for 10 minutes or until the bleeding has stopped.
  • Wash the wound with soap and water for 5 minutes. Protect the eye with a clean cloth.
  • For cuts or scrapes, use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed.
  • Put it on the cut 3 times a day. Do this for 3 days.
  • Cover large scrapes with a Band-Aid. Change daily.
Swelling or Bruises with Intact Skin (including a Black Eye):
  • Put a cold pack or ice wrapped in a wet cloth on the eye. Do this for 20 minutes. This will help stop the bleeding and swelling. Repeat as needed.
  • A black eye usually takes 1 to 2 days to occur.
  • A flame-shaped bruise of the white of the eyeball is also common.
  • After 48 hours, use a warm wet cloth for 10 minutes. Do this 3 times per day. Reason: To help reabsorb the blood.
Pain Medicine:
  • To help with the pain, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Use as needed.
What to Expect:
  • Minor cuts and scratches, as well as bruises, are harmless.
  • They last about 2 weeks.
  • They do not need any medicine to help them go away.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2021 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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