5 Common Eye Injuries in Children and Causes

Minding children can require grim determination. This is because regardless of whatever safety measures you have in place, children find ways to manoeuver these barriers. This exposes them to a lot of danger as they generally do not have a sense of what is harmful or not.

However, most of these dangers are connected with recreational activities outside just as some of them emanate from household items. The principally affected area in such injuries is usually the eye.

This article will elaborate on some common eye injuries in children and state their causes.


1.   Chemical burns

Chemical burns occur when substances with chemical components come in contact with any part of the human body. The eyes are ordinarily sensitive and the introduction of certain objects or substances will irritate them.

However, there are a few chemical substances such as acids that can cause severe damage to the eye.


  • Household cleaning items like bleach, soap, and liquid detergent
  • Work reagents like acids
  • Rubbing of the eye, introducing chemicals on the hands to the eye
  • Atmospheric exposure such as perfumes or tear gas.


2.   Corneal abrasion

A corneal abrasion refers to a superficial scratch on the surface of the cornea. It is usually a minor injury to the cornea and does not affect vision long term.

Depending on how large the affected area is, corneal abrasions tend to heal within three days for minor scratches but they can take as many as five days to heal if a large part of the cornea is scratched.


  • Finger poke or scratch in the eye
  • Dust particles
  • Prolonged use of contact lenses


3.   Orbital fractures

The eye orbit or eye socket is another common area that is affected by injuries in children. Orbital fractures usually cause double vision and pain in the eye. These eye-related injuries are often severe as they are caused by significant physical trauma to the eye.

Orbital parts such as the orbital rim, orbital floor, or the inner wall of the eye socket can be the direct hits of this damage. These parts are involved in giving support and form to the eye socket.


  • Direct blow to the eye, either with a fist or hard objects such as balls or even wine corks


4.   Iritis

Iritis is caused by inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye. The iris controls the amount of light that enters the eye by pupil dilation.

This is after the light first enters through the cornea. When the cornea is inflamed, it can obstruct vision in the affected area.


  • Physical trauma or blow to the eye


5.   Subconjunctival hemorrhage

The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that covers the white of the eye (sclera).  The conjunctiva contains blood vessels but it is transparent.

In subconjunctival hemorrhage, blood covers the surface of the sclera due to a break in one of the blood vessels in the conjunctiva. This red discoloration is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. It is temporary and usually within 14 days.


  • Coughing
  • Intense and forced sneezing


6.   Lacerations

Sometimes, children can come in contact with sharp objects. They can unwittingly use these objects to inflict cuts on their eyelids. Or the sharp objects can blow into their eyes and cut parts such as the cornea or sclera.

The severity of these cuts can vary but the attention of an eye doctor may be needed to assess the degree of damage and recommend care options.


  • Broken glass shards
  • Metals
  • Razor blades
  • Falls


Bottom line

A great percentage of children’s visit to the emergency room every year is due to eye-related injuries. It is not difficult to figure out why this is so as the eye is the body organ that is most exposed hence, most vulnerable.

It is imperative that children be kept away from all materials that could affect their eyes. In the event that the eye does get affected, an eye doctor should be visited immediately to prevent permanent damage or loss of the eye.


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