How to Put in Eyedrops

Get step-by-step instructions for administering eyedrops to kids.

Eyedrops deliver medicine directly to the eyes. Your child's doctor may prescribe eyedrops for a number of reasons, including treating an infection such as conjunctivitis (pinkeye), keeping the eyes moist, helping with redness or itching, and easing allergy symptoms.

How to Administer Eyedrops

Putting eyedrops into your own eyes, much less your child's, may seem like a daunting task, but with some preparation, practice, and patience, you can administer your child's eyedrops quickly and effectively. Take a deep breath, relax, follow these steps, and you'll be experienced in no time.

Sometimes eyedrops will create a taste in your child's mouth or your child may feel the drops in his nose or throat. If the symptoms are not relieved by the time the prescription is finished, notify the doctor.

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. If you have disposable rubber gloves, you can wear them.
  2. Have the child lie on his back with eyes open.
  3. Gently pull down each lower eyelid and ask your child to look up.
  4. Put the prescribed number of drops between the lower part of each eyelid and eyeball.
  5. Ask your child to blink. This allows the drops to cover the entire eye.
  6. Be sure not to touch the dropper to your child's eyelashes, eye, eyelid, or any surface. This helps to keep it free from bacteria and to prevent more infection.
  7. Don't forget to wash your hands again to remove any medicine and prevent infection transfer, even if you used disposable rubber gloves.

Another Method for Administering Eyedrops

A squirming, reluctant infant may not hold still long enough for you to give a small eyedrop. Here's another method for a wriggling patient:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap. If you have disposable rubber gloves, you can wear them.
  2. Have the child lie on her back with eyes closed.
  3. Put the prescribed number of drops into the inner corner of the closed eyes.
  4. When your child opens his eyes, the drops should run into them.
  5. Make sure not to touch the dropper to your child's eyelashes, eye, eyelid, or any other surface to keep the dropper free from bacteria and prevent more infection.
  6. Even if you used disposable rubber gloves, wash your hands after giving the eyedrops.

Follow Eye Safety Guideline

  • Use the eyedrops exactly as prescribed by the doctor. Do not use more drops or use them for a longer period than instructed, as this could damage the eyes.
  • Store eyedrops according to the instructions, which may be in the refrigerator.
  • Do not give eyedrops to your child that have been prescribed for another person.
  • Do not save leftover eyedrops beyond the prescribed time.
  • Use eyedrops only for the eye condition that is being treated.
  • If your child wears contact lenses, find out if he can wear the contacts while using the eyedrops.

Copyright ? 2012 Meredith Corporation.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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