House Call: Pediatric eye injuries

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The two most urgent eye injury emergencies we see in children, as well as adults, include:

  1. Chemicals in the eye – If harmful chemicals get into the eye, the first line of action should be to rinse the eye out thoroughly, even before calling 911.  Seconds matter.
  2. Penetrating eye injury (ruptured globe) – If hit in the eye with a sharp object and there is a chance the eye was perforated, cover it with some sort of hard shield immediately.  Any rubbing or contact with the eye may cause the perforation to worsen, and cause more damage.

Children commonly injure their eyes while playing sports.  Therefore, it is important to wear proper protective eye gear, especially in contact or ball sports such as baseball, soccer and basketball. 

This time of year, it is also important to keep firework safety in mind.  Fireworks can cause severe, irreversible eye damage and sometimes blindness. This Fourth of July, it is certainly fine to enjoy a fireworks display, as long as it is one that is put on by professionals. 

If any sort of eye injury occurs, from fireworks to chemicals, causing blurred vision, redness and/or pain, it is important to seek medical attention.

Cone Health has an exceptional network of ophthalmologists, emergency medical teams and related healthcare professionals dedicated to treating eye emergencies and injuries in children and adults.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Bill Young is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Pediatric Ophthalmology Associates and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned his medical degree from Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

After ophthalmology residency at MUSC’s Storm Eye Institute, he completed his fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.