Can I Give My Baby Eye Drops?

Eyedrops is a common over-the-counter med that be easily found in our house. While it’s no big deal for an adult to apply some eye drops to soothe itchiness in our eye due to the dry eye but that does not mean you can do the same for your baby.

Eyedrops deliver medicine directly to our eyes and simply give your baby eye drops can be dangerous. Your child’s doctor may prescribe eyedrops for your child for numerous reasons like treating eye infection such conjunctivitis (pinkeye), but you should still always practice caution when applying eye drops to your child. Read on to learn the do's and don't on giving eye drops to your child.


Consult A Doctor First

If you are thinking about giving your baby eye drops because thinking they have some kind of infection, it is really not a good idea. You should at least consult with a doctor before you take the step of giving your baby any eye drops.

If you give your baby eye drops, and they do not need them, you could be harming their eye development or in the worst case scenario, they could even go blind. Certain eye drops ingredients are made to not suitable for applying to a baby’s eye because their eye is not fully developed like an adult yet.

While your doctor may prescribe baby eye drops to cure your baby eye’s infection but it’s better to keep the surrounding clean than to use medicine to cure an eye infection due to allergens.

Keeping the surrounding clean for your baby is important. A dusty environment can easily cause your child to have an eye infection due to dust settle on their eye. Let’s look into ways to keep their surrounding clean.


How To Remove Allergens From Your Home

If your child has an eye infection or you feel that they are having some kind of reaction to something, it could be due to allergens in the home triggering a reaction. There are several things that you can do to remove allergens, including the following:

  • You need to get a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and give the home an entire going over or at least the spots that your baby spends the most time in. It's vital to get rid of dust/any pet hairs that might be causing your little one to have itchy/sensitive eyes.
  • Make sure to clean your baby’s bedding set weekly so that no dust can be settled on the bedding set.
  • The crib mattress should be clean weekly by laying it under the sun for a couple of hours. Sunshine is great at killing the dust mites and also airs away any odors left behind from your baby’s urine or poop. For more tips and tricks on cleaning a crib mattress, read this post.
  • Think about what else could be causing these allergies; have you changed your laundry detergent lately for example? If you still don't have a solution, a trip to the doctors might be needed for further advice on the matter.
  • During pollen season, keep windows closed and rely on air conditioning to keep your home cool. Pollen can also cause your baby sneeze a lot if she has a sinus problem. An air purifier is the best companion during this kind of season.

These are the top rated air purifier for your home. These HEPA air purifier are great at filtering and provide clean air. Choose any of these air purifier will guarantee clean and healthy air not only for your baby but the whole family too!

  • Aeramax
  • GermGuardian
  • honeywell
  • Smart feature that automatically detects and purifies the air.
  • Certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
  • True HEPA filter with AeraSafe antimicrobial treatment to safely remove 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns including pollen, ragweed and other allergens such as viruses, germs, dust mites, mold spores and pet dander.

Source: Amazon


What Is Pinkeye?

Pinkeye is common in babies (usually known as conjunctivitis.) It is basically just an infection and inflammation of the clear membrane that covers the eyes known as the conjunctiva.

A virus or bacteria is usually the main cause of this in babies, and you will probably discover that your child will get conjunctivitis at least once during their younger years. Understanding the following symptoms of pinkeye is important so that you can take steps in tackling the problem.


The Symptoms Of Pinkeye

There is pretty much one main symptom that will give away the fact that your child has conjunctivitis or pinkeye, and that is the way that the eye looks.

The lower rim of your child's eye(s) will have a white, seeping discharge (this could also be yellow). The tear ducts of the eyes will likely become gloopy and crusty as conjunctivitis progresses and it might even start to run down the face.

It is so easy to spot because the appearance of pinkeye is like no other eye infection. If your baby has a slightly milder case of conjunctivitis, the symptoms could include the eyes looking red with some slight swelling.


What Causes Pinkeye In Babies?

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A virus: If you baby has conjunctivitis as well as cold symptoms, the main culprit is likely virus infection. The usual symptom is eye redness and watery. Usually, this type of conjunctivitis will go away by itself after a few days.

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A bacteria: You can recognize bacteria infection if your baby’s eye producing sticky kind of yellow discharge around the rim of his/her eyelid. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, or Hemophilus are probably the main culprits for causing this pinkeye.

An allergen: If you baby’s eye seem swollen, watery, bloodshot, and your child can’t stop rubbing them because itchy, it’s very likely an allergic reaction to an irritant such as dust, pollen or smoke.

Baby eye drops: Sometimes doctor will prescribe eyedrops for baby to prevent their eyes from bacteria infection but the eyedrops ingredients can cause eye discomfort. This is called chemical conjunctivitis.

Blocked tear ducts: Many babies are born with either one or both of their tear ducts blocked or partially blocked. Blocked tear duct can cause conjunctivitis-like symptoms too.

Here is a video on how to handle blocked tear duct by Dr. Paul Thomas, a pediatrician.

It's worth mentioning that conjunctivitis is infectious, so it's possible that they caught this from another child; you should also be careful that they do not pass it on to others by keeping them home until it is treated.


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How To Treat Pinkeye

Although pinkeye (conjunctivitis) can sound a bit scary but it is easy to treat conjunctivitis. Once you spot that your child has the condition, you can put in steps to get rid of it.

Viral infection - If your baby has viral conjunctivitis, this will clear up on its own, and no steps are needed to be taken by you. If it is watery around your baby’s eye, you may clean them by gently rubbing them off with some clean cotton balls or clothes.

Bacterial infection - If your baby is suffering from bacterial conjunctivitis, visit your doctor and they will provide him/her with a course of antibiotics or child eye drops to improve the condition. After around a week of giving the required treatment to your little one, you will find that the pinkeye will be pretty much gone.

Allergen infection - As mentioned above, allergen infection is an allergic reaction to an irritant such as dust, pollen or smoke. The best treatment is to put an air purifier near to your baby so that it can clean the air and provide fresh air free of allergen for your child.


How To Apply Eye Drops For Your Baby

If you are prescribed with eye drops by a doctor to give to your baby, it can seem a daunting task to insert them. However, it's important that you do it correctly, so you do not accidentally agitate the inflamed area and cause it to swell further.

Follow these instructions and you are guaranteed a stress-free experience for you and your baby.

Step 1: It is important to wash your hands before and after you put the drops into your child's eyes because the last thing you want is to make the infection worse. Wear a rubber glove for extra safety.

Step 2: Lie your baby back and if possible get somebody to hold their eyes gently open so that you can effectively get the drops into the eyes without distressing them.

Step 3: Aim for inside corner of your baby’s eye and gently squeeze a drop or two to it.

Step 4: Ask your baby to blink so that the eyedrops can cover the entire eye. If you child is too young, do not attempt to help them to close their eye. It will make the infection worse. Just let the drops naturally flow.

Step 5: After it’s done, discard the rubber glove and store the baby eye drops according to the instructions, which may be in the refrigerator.


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