6 Ways to Stop Your Kids From Rubbing Their Eyes

julian eye
Stop Rubbing Your Eyes!
So I'm frankly still a little bit traumatized from something that happened to my 6-year-old son earlier this week, and because I don't want the same thing to happen to you/your kid, I'm going to tell you my cautionary tale.

(Even though it's kind of unpleasant. Then again, if you're a mom, you've got a pretty high tolerance for "unpleasant," so I guess we're cool.)

Julian, my son, gets wicked seasonal allergies this time of year; springtime, to him, means a stuffy nose, headaches, and -- worst of all -- itchy eyes.

Which, of course, he can't stop rubbing ... which, of course, makes them even more red and itchy and swollen and, well, it's just not a good time for anybody. I feel like the only words I've spoken to him for the past month are "Stop rubbing your eyes!"

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He'd been rubbing his eyes quite a bit the other night, and by the time he went to bed, his left eye was looking just a teensy bit puffier and more irritated than his right eye. Just a teensy bit. I did the Benadryl/cold compress combo and figured it would be fine by the morning.

Guess what?

It was not fine by the morning. Julian woke up with his left eye swollen shut, looking more like a prizefighter than a first grader. Even Benadryl was powerless against this strange ailment!

To me, that spells Emergency Room.

So off we went, and a good thing, too. Because while Julian's eye issue started out as an allergic reaction, it had downward spiralled into something much more serious: Periorbital cellulitis. Or, in layman's terms, during the course of all that eye-rubbing (with not necessarily clean hands), some horrid bacteria got under the delicate skin around his eye and caused a nasty infection.

An infection which (this is the part where I'm gonna need somebody to hold my hand) can be FATAL if it's not treated quickly, the eye being so close to the brain and all.

Yiiiiiiiiiikes!

A couple of days on Amoxicillan later, Julian's eye is looking almost back to normal. But talk about a bullet dodged! (All I could think, lying in bed that night, was flesh-eating bacteria. Nope, I didn't sleep much.)

Anyway. Since simply telling kids to stop rubbing their eyes doesn't work, we moms of children with allergies clearly need a new strategy. Here are a few anti-itch tricks to try:

1. Make sure kids shower AND wash hair every night -- hair collects pollen.

2. Stick to a strict "shoes off at the door" policy. Shoes track all kinds of pollen and allergens inside.

3. Give your kid a pair of sunglasses to keep pollen from blowing into his eyes outside.

4. Wash bedding as frequently as possible, especially the pillowcases.

5. When itching starts, wash your kid's face and hands right away and place a cold, wet washcloth over his eyes.

6. Show your kid the picture of my son (above) and tell her that's what'll happen to her if she keeps rubbing her eyes!

Does your kid get itchy allergy eyes? What do you do to help?

 

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