How to Give Eye Drops and Eye Ointment
Learn how to give your child eye drops and eye ointment with these step-by-step instructions:
- Wash your hands.
- Cleaning your child’s eyes.
- Use a different area of a washcloth for each eye, and gently wipe the eye from the nose side outward with the washcloth.
- If the eye has crusted material around it, wet a washcloth with warm water and place it over the eye.
- Wait about 1 minute, and gently wipe the eye from nose side outward with the washcloth.
- Place the washcloth on the eye and wait again.
- If you cannot remove the crusting, rewet the washcloth. Then, try to gently remove the crusted drainage. Continue until all of the crusting is removed.
- If both eyes need cleaning, use separate cloths for each eye. Clean the cloths before using them again.
- Wash your hands again when you are finished.
- Lay your child on his back on a flat surface.
- If he will not lie still, place him on his back, head between your legs, and arms under your legs.
- If needed, gently cross your lower legs over your child’s legs to keep him from moving.
- Place a pillow under your child’s shoulders or a rolled up towel under his neck so that his head is tilited back. Ask your child to tilt his head back and up.
- Apply eye ointment or eye drops.
- Bring refrigerated meds to room temperature. Rub the medicine bottle between the palms of your hands to warm the drops.
- Shake the bottle if the label instructs you to.
- Tell your child to look up and to the other side. The eye drops should flow away from your child’s nose.
- Place the wrist of the hand you will be using to give the drops on your child’s forehead.
- Bring the dropper close (within 1 inch) of the eye.
- Drop the medicine in the lower eyelid, away from the tear ducts, which are located in the lower inner corner of the eye.
- Tell your child to look up and to the other side. The eye ointment should flow away from the child’s nose.
- Place the wrist of the hand you will be using to give the ointment on your child’s forehead.
- Pull down slightly and gently on the skin below the eye, just above the cheekbone.
- Bring the tube close (within 1 inch) of the eye.
- Apply a thin line of ointment along the lower eyelid.
- Rotate the tube when you reach the edge of the outer eye. This will help detach the ointment from the tube.
- Ask your child to close or blink his eyes for a minute to allow the eye drops or ointment to be dispersed throughout the eye.
- Wipe away any excess medication or tearing with a clean tissue.
- Rinse the dropper with water OR wipe the tip of the ointment tube with a clean tissue.
- Replace the dropper to the bottle OR the cap on the tube immediately after each use.
- Wash your hands and note of the time the medication was given.
- Last Updated
- Adapted from Curriculum for Medication Administration in Early Education and Child Care Settings (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.