If you have little kids, you know that poked eyes are a common occurrence, especially if they play sports. While most eye pokes don't cause any real problems, some pokes can be more serious. If your child has been poked in the eye while playing sports, here are a couple dos and don'ts to keep in mind.

Don't Let Them Rub Their Eye

Rubbing the eye is the first instinct after an eye poke. However, that's the last thing you want your child to do. First of all, rubbing or touching will irritate the surface of the eye. Second, rubbing or touching may cause the injury to get worse, or cause additional injury. Give your child something to hold while you examine their eye. This will keep their hands busy so they can't rub.

Don't Let Them Go Right Back To Playing

Most poked eyes will heal in a matter of minutes. However, if your child is in pain, or is having difficulty seeing, it's a good idea to have them sit it out for a while. This will give you the opportunity to check for more severe injuries. It will also allow you to monitor the type of pain that your child is experiencing.

Do Monitor the Type of Pain

Once you've looked at your child's eye, start monitoring the pain. This is important because the type of pain will determine whether or not you need to take your child to the doctor. Ask your child if it hurts to move their eyes from side to side, or up and down. If movement of the eye causes pain, it's a good idea to have them checked out by their optometrist.

Do Watch For Vision Problems

Most eye pokes will cause a brief period of blurriness as the eye heals. However, severe eye pokes can lead to serious vision problems. For instance, if the poke was caused by a sharp object, including a fingernail, several different types of injuries can occur. Some of those injuries include:

  • Scratched cornea

  • Bleeding of the eyeball

  • Detached retina

If you see blood under the eyeball, or your child complains of a sandpaper feeling when they blink, you should contact your optometrist as soon as possible.

Kids are going to get hurt. If they're active in sports, they're probably going to suffer from a poked eye at least once. Before you send them back out to play, use these helpful tips to determine the extent of the injuries. If your child is experiencing pain when they move their eyes, or their vision is distorted, you should contact an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. For more information, contact a professional, like those at the Nevada Institute Of Ophthalmology.