Chemical burns happen when a chemical gets into your child’s eye.
Chemical burns are often caused by household cleaning products that contain acid. Some common products that cause this type of injury include:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
The symptoms of chemical burns of the eye may look like symptoms of other eye issues or health problems. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about your child’s health history. He or she will also give your child an eye exam. Your child may get local numbing (anesthetic) eye drops for the exam.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
This issue is an emergency. You should seek medical help right away if your child gets a chemical into his or her eye.
Most children with a chemical burn will be treated in the emergency room. An eye doctor (ophthalmologist) will usually care for your child.
Treatment includes washing out your child’s eye with saline right away. This is done for about 20 to 30 minutes. Your child may get local numbing (anesthetic) drops into his or her eye to help ease the pain. The eye is usually held open with an instrument to make sure the saline gets into the eye. Some children may need to be sedated under general anesthesia.
If a chemical burn of the eye isn’t treated right away, your child could have vision loss. Your child may even lose his or her eye.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider: