Treatments for Foreign Bodies in the Eye in Children

  • If a foreign body is seen in your child's eye, it may be removed with a small cotton applicator or by washing the eye out with saline.
  • An antibiotic ointment may be placed in the eye.
  • Referral to an ophthalmologist (physician who specializes in comprehensive eye care) may be necessary if the foreign body is hard to remove or is causing the child severe pain.
  • If a corneal abrasion (a scratch or injury to the cornea) is detected, treatment may include:
    • A patch over the eye may be used to help decrease your child's level of discomfort. A patch is usually required for 12 to 24 hours.
    • Close follow-up with your child's physician is needed to ensure that the abrasion heals completely.
    • Severe abrasions or cuts into the cornea will be managed by an eye specialist because of the increased risk of damage to the eye.
    • An antibiotic ointment may be placed in the eye.
  • A tetanus shot may be given depending on the type of foreign body and the vaccination status of the child.
  • Close follow-up with your child's physician is needed.