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Treating a Black Eye

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Our producer’s sweet daughter came home from camp today with a surprise, her first black eye. It seems that she had tripped and fallen, and luckily she did not have a head injury, but did manage to sustain a black eye. Black eyes are fairly common in kids, and are really just bruising and swelling involving the tissues around the eye and not the eye itself. A black eye alone is typically not an emergency but you will want to make sure that the eye is not involved.

As with any other injury to the head you want to make sure that your child is alert, and oriented, even after a superficial eye injury. It is important that you assess the eye to make sure that the eyeball moves properly within the socket, that the pupils are equal and reactive, and that your child does not complain of any change in their vision in the affected eye. If there are any of these signs it is imperative that you take your child to their physician to be evaluated.

If there simply appears to be bruising and swelling of the tissue around the eye apply ice to the area for the first 24 hours (my favorite bag of frozen corn works well). You may apply the ice for 10

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