Eyelid Lacerations in Children

What are eyelid lacerations in children?

Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by trauma.

What causes eyelid lacerations in a child?

The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They also include collisions with sharp objects while running. Sharp objects can include sticks, thorns, retail display hooks, and nails.

In teens, the most common causes include trauma from fist fights, eye gouging, and ball sports.

Which children are at risk for eyelid lacerations?

Males are more likely to get this injury than females.

What are the symptoms of eyelid lacerations in a child?

Symptoms can happen a bit differently in each child.

Some lacerations only affect the eyelid. Your child’s only symptom may be bleeding. Other lacerations may affect the eye itself.

Your child should see a healthcare provider right away if he or she has any signs of an eyelid laceration.

How are eyelid lacerations diagnosed in a child?

Your child's healthcare provider will look closely at your child’s eye to check for damage. Your child may need to see an eye healthcare provider for further evaluation.

How are eyelid lacerations treated in a child?

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Stitches

If your child’s healthcare provider says the laceration is simple, he or she will stitch (suture) it. Before your child gets stitches, he or she may need local numbing medicine (anesthetic drops) in the eye. The anesthetic may also be injected into surrounding tissue. Younger or uncooperative children may need medicine to calm them (sedation) or general anesthesia before getting stitches.

Further evaluation

If your child has a large laceration, he or she will need to be checked by an eye healthcare provider. Your child may also need to see an eye healthcare provider if the laceration affects his or her eye.

Plastic surgery

If your child has a full-thickness lid laceration, he or she may need plastic surgery. This is done if the laceration affected your child’s eye muscles or other parts of the eye.

Key points about eyelid lacerations in children

  • Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by trauma.
  • The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They also include collisions with sharp objects while running.
  • Your child may need stitches.
  • If your child has a larger laceration or if it affects his or her eye, your child may need to see an eye healthcare provider.
  • In severe cases, your child may need plastic surgery. This is done if your child has a full-thickness lid laceration.
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