How to help treat or prevent infected eyes in children

How to help treat or prevent infected eyes in children

Tips for protecting your little ones from sore, dry eyes

Caring for your children’s eyes isn’t as simple as digging out the plasters or trusty anti-bacterial cream. Our eyes are one of the most precious parts of our body, making it tricky for parents to know how to treat their little ones’ eyes in the event of soreness or a minor accident. Children are always exploring and playing, exposing their eyes to all sorts of potential risks and whilst this can be worrying for mums and dads, as long as you’re armed with the right advice for what to do if your child comes to you with a problem with their eyes, they will be back in the playground, in no time. Read our top tips and remedies for kids:

Getting rid of foreign bodies

One of the most common complaints among children, when it comes to their eyes, is that they’ve got something in it. Dirt, sand, an eyelash - the list goes on, as kids are prone to getting something in their eyes while they’re out playing. You might not think it, but bath time is another situation where you’ll need to take care. Shampoo can easily get into kids’ eyes during a hair wash, causing irritation.

If this happens, try to stay calm – foreign bodies and shampoo can usually be removed. Firstly, make sure you get a good look at what it is or read the product label. For eyelashes, you may be able to manage this at home using an eyewash such as Optrex’s Multi Action Eye Wash. It contains natural plant extract to cleanse and soothe irritated eyes. Once you’ve washed your little one’s eyes, try to make sure they don’t rub them. If you’re unable to remove the particle, or if your child is still complaining of a sore eye, seek medical advice from a doctor.

Limiting screen time

Left to their own 'devices', kids could watch telly and play on their gadgets for hours –but too much screen time could make their eyes tired and sore. Especially if they’re concentrating hard on a game, they’re likely to be blinking less, which could lead to dry eyes.

The best thing to do to make sure they don’t get screen eyes is to put a limit on how long they can spend on their devices. According to the NHS, the light and distractions that come from screens are currently stopping kids from getting the rest they need. Experts suggest that for 2-5-year-olds, screen time should be less than one hour per day of high-quality programs. Whilst, for those aged 6+ a consistent limit on screen time is recommended to ensure a balance between sleeping, playing and other behaviours essential to health.

Fighting infections

Young children normally pick up infections such as colds, which can end up spreading to their eyes if they accidentally transfer some of the microbes by touching their eyes with their hands. Then there’s the possibility they could forget to wash their hands after playing outside or touching things they shouldn’t, which could also lead to infection.

For ailments, such as bacterial conjunctivitis which is a common problem among children, why not try Optrex's Infected Eye Drops or Optrex Bacterial Conjunctivitis 1%w/w Eye Ointment. Both are available by visiting your pharmacy team and can help to reduce the length of the infection as well as reduce the symptoms. Make sure your hands are clean and dry beforehand and only apply the eye drops during waking hours. If it’s your first time giving your child eye drops, follow these simple steps to help you apply them successfully:

  •  Lay the child on a bed with eyes closed.
  •  Drop the required amount into the edge of the eye closest to the nose.
  •  The drops will fall into the eye when the child opens them, so get him/her to blink a few times while lying down.
  •  Always follow the instructions on the pack about the course of treatment and when to seek medical advice.

Optrex Infected eye drops and Optrex Bacterial Conjunctivitis 1%w/w Eye Ointment are suitable for children aged 2 years and over*. If you have a baby who is below 2 years of age with an eye infection it is recommended to visit your doctor for further advice.

Taking care out and about

Activities such as swimming, are great for having fun with your children and teaching them new skills, but too much exposure to chlorine could make eyes sore and itchy. This can lead to rubbing their eyes afterwards which can sometimes cause an eye infection or irritation. Make sure that after every trip to the pool, your child showers properly to get all the chemicals out of their eyes.

Playing outdoors can also lead to irritation and soreness, particularly for children prone to allergies or irritation through dust. Optrex soothing eye drops are designed to help relieve itchy eyes affected by things such as a pollen, pet hair and dust mites.


Optrex Infected eye drops. Treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis. Contains Chloramphenicol 0.5% w/v.

Optrex Bacterial Conjunctivitis 1%w/w Eye Ointment- Treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis. Contains Chloramphenicol 1% w/v. *Needs to be stored in the fridge between 2-8 degrees whilst the ointment can be kept outside of the fridge. It's a matter of preference - your pharmacy team should be able to advise you.

Always read the label