What to Do if Your Baby Gets Something in Their Eye

Babies naturally like to explore, often putting things in their mouths to learn about them. While you are probably aware of the risks of choking, it is also important to know that your baby’s mouth is not the only place where foreign objects can end up. Once they get more mobility, baby proofing becomes more important. Babies can put things in their nose, ears, and even eyes. It is important to stay calm if your baby gets something in their eye. Your baby depends on you to bring them relief when suffering from discomfort or pain. If you are unsure of how to approach the situation, here is a guide on what to do if your baby gets something in their eye.

Particle in Corner of Eye

Sometimes, babies get contaminants in their eyes through no fault of their own. Dust, pollen, and debris often float around and can get in a child’s eye. If there is a particle in the corner of their eye, you can try to get it out with a damp cotton swab or corner of a damp cloth. Carefully wipe their eye with the damp item until the particle is removed. Wiping with a cotton swab or damp cloth is an easier way to remove a particle from the corner of their eye without irritating or reinfecting their eye.

Dirt, Sand or Similar Particles

The first thing you are going to do is wipe their face and around the eye with a wet cloth. This way, you do not have to worry about more particles getting into their eye. Once you wipe their face, fill a cup with warm tap water. Hold your baby face up with their eyes open, and carefully pour the water into their eye to rinse out the particles. Your baby will likely be very upset about this procedure, so try to have someone else there to help hold them or put them on a surface like a crib or bed so they can’t wiggle out of your hands or fall.

Under the Lower Eyelid

Sometimes, a particle can be stuck so that your best efforts can’t reach it, let alone pull it out. If a particle is stuck in a child’s lower eyelid, pull down on the skin above their cheekbone to pull the lid out. Use a damp cotton swab to carefully remove the particle. Another option is to pull the lid out as you pour water on the area. This is going to rinse the particle out of the eye. Be as careful and gentle as you can.

Under the Upper Eyelid

A particle that cannot be seen is most likely trapped under the upper eyelid, and you are going to have to remove the particle on your own because of their age. Start by carefully pulling the upper eyelid out, and draw it over the lower eyelid. The lower eyelid may be able to sweep out the particle, so their eyes should be closed during this treatment. Remember to be as gentle as possible.

Contact the Eye Doctor

There are several scenarios that require a visit an the eye doctor. You may not be able to remove the particle, or your baby may be acting as if the particle is still in their eye two hours later. It also never hurts to contact your eye doctor if you are worried about removing the particle on your own. If any of these solutions seem too difficult for you to perform on your own, or if the contaminant is something particularly dangerous or corrosive, take your child to a specialist as soon as possible.

If you approach the situation calmly and call the doctor as needed, you are going to be able to remove the particle from their eye. If your child suffers permanent damage or seems to suffer from chronic sensitivity or pain, contact an eye doctor near you.


Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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