Eyelid Lacerations in Children
What are eyelid lacerations in children?
Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by injury.
What causes eyelid lacerations in a child?
The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They also include crashing into sharp objects while running. Sharp objects can include sticks, thorns, store display hooks, and nails.
In teens, the most common causes include injury from fist fights, car crashes, and ball sports.
Which children are at risk for eyelid lacerations?
Boys are more likely to get this injury than girls.
What are the symptoms of eyelid lacerations in a child?
Symptoms can be different for each child. Symptoms of an eyelid laceration include:
- Redness around the eyelid
- Swelling around the eyelid
- Eye or eyelid pain
- Blurry or distorted vision
Some lacerations only affect the eyelid. Then your child’s only symptom may be bleeding. Other lacerations may affect the eye itself.
Your child should see a healthcare provider right away if they have any signs of an eyelid laceration.
How are eyelid lacerations diagnosed in a child?
Your child's healthcare provider will look closely at your child’s eye to check for damage. Your child may need to see an eye care provider for further evaluation and treatment.
How are eyelid lacerations treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
If your child’s healthcare provider says the laceration is simple, they will stitch (suture) it. Before your child gets stitches, a local numbing medicine (anesthetic drops) will be given in the eye. The anesthetic may also be injected into nearby tissue. Younger children or children who don't follow directions well may need medicine to calm them (sedation). Or they may need general anesthesia before getting stitches.
If your child has a large cut, they will need to be checked by an eye care provider. Your child may also need to see a specialized eye care provider if the laceration affects their eye.
If your child has a full-thickness lid laceration, they may need plastic surgery. This is done if the laceration affected your child’s eye muscles, the tear duct, or other parts of the eye.
Key points about eyelid lacerations in children
- Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by injury.
- The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They also include collisions with sharp objects while running.
- Your child may need stitches.
- If your child has a larger cut or if it affects their eye, your child may need to see a specialized eye care provider.
- In severe cases, your child may need plastic surgery. This is done if your child has a full-thickness lid laceration.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s healthcare provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.