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Are Eye Drops Safe for Kids?

by
author image Leigh Good
Leigh Good has been writing for magazines and newspapers for more than 10 years. Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications. Good has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Georgia State University.
Are Eye Drops Safe for Kids?
Many eye drops are safe to use on children's eyes. Photo Credit eye of a child image by spectator from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

If your child has red eyes due to illness or allergies, you can find some eye drops that are safe to use on children, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Depending on your child's eye problems, doctors sometimes even prescribe specific eye drops just for children. If you have concerns about your child's eyes, talk to a doctor to determine what kind of eye drops will be both safe and beneficial for her.

Types

A variety of eye drops are safe to use on children, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Artificial tears made from pure saline are safe to use on children of any age. If your child is over three years old, you can safely use some eye drops that contain antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers to treat eye itchiness and redness caused by allergies.

Safe Usage

To safely instill eye drops in your child's eyes, Community Eye Health recommends you start by making sure your child's eye is clean. Ask your child to look upward, then use one of your fingers to pull your child's lower eyelid down. Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper to your child's eye. Instill one drop of medication into your child's eye, then release the eyelid and repeat with the other eye.

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Treatments

Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is a condition that causes poor vision in one eye. Traditional treatment includes wearing an eye patch over the non-affected eye. According to the New York Times, doctors can also treat amblyopia using a weekly application of medicated eye drops. Studies show that these eye drops are mostly safe for use in children, although some children experience side effects from the drops including fever or flushing. Doctors also can use eye drops to treat strabismus, commonly known as cross eye, in small children.

Alternatives

If your child has red, irritated eyes, and you don't want to use eye drops on him, you have a few alternatives, according to the Los Angeles Times. Try splashing clean, cool water on your child's eyes to relieve itchiness and redness. Make sure the water you are using is chlorine free. You can also soak a wash cloth in cool water, then lay the wash cloth over your child's eyes for several minutes to ease irritated eyes.

Considerations

While red, itchy eyes may be a sign that your child has allergies, talk to your doctor for a proper diagnosis before using eye drops on your child. Your child may be suffering from a bacterial or viral infection in her eye.

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References

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