Prevention and effective response in childhood eye accidents


Eye injuries in children caused by accidents are relatively common and can lead to irreversible low vision.

It is important to differentiate between injuries that occur at home and those that occur during sports activities. The most common causes in the family environment include:

  • Misuse of toys, especially pointed ones or those with projectiles.
  • Use of kitchen utensils, such as knives and forks, or other objects like pens, pencils, paper clips, etc.
  • Falls against furniture, from stairs, or from elevated places.

In sports, the most frequent cause of eye injuries is direct contusion to the eyeball, either from fists, elbows, or a medium/small sized ball that hits the eye directly.


Many injuries can be avoided with common sense and appropriate preventive measures:

  • Keep objects such as scissors, forks, clips, metal hooks, elastic cords, and cleaning products (bleach, ammonia, detergents, etc.) out of the child's reach.
  • Use toys with sharp points, rods, rubber bullet guns, darts, bows and arrows only with adult supervision; avoid playing with branches or stones in the garden.
  • Always handle firecrackers with the help of an adult.
  • Consider the use of protective glasses for contact sports and small ball sports, such as baseball, hockey or paddle tennis, and for garden activities like mowing the grass.

If you have an ocular contusion, go to an emergency ophthalmology centre to check for any intraocular damage. If the accident involves a chemical product entering the eye, first rinse thoroughtly for 20 minutes with saline solution or, if not available, with cold tap water. This helps dilute the substance, shorten the contact time with the eye, and normalize the pH. After rinsing, urgently visit an ophthalmologist. An exception is powdered lime, which must be removed with oil; do not use water or saline solution, as it transforms into quicklime when combined with water.

Dr. Anna Monés, ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre