Black Eye in Children: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Picture of a black eye

A black eye is bruising and swelling around the eye or the eyelids. The swelling from a black eye may get worse over the next couple of days. After that, the swelling should steadily improve until it is gone.

The bruise around your child's eye will change colours as it heals. The skin may turn from black and blue to green, yellow, and brown before it returns to its normal colour. It may take 1 to 3 weeks to return to normal.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

How can you care for your child at home?

  • Put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice pack and your child's skin.
  • If the doctor prescribed antibiotics for your child, give them as directed. Do not stop using them just because your child feels better. Your child needs to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Give pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
    • If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • Your child has any new changes in vision, such as double vision or blurring.
  • Your child has new or increased pain in or around the eye.

Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your child's eye turns red, gets very teary, or has discharge.
  • Your child does not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 27, 2016