2020–2021 BCSC Basic and Clinical Science Course™
6 Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
Part II: Pediatric Ophthalmology
Chapter 27: Ocular Trauma in Childhood
In younger children, most accidental ocular trauma occurs during casual play with other children. Older children and adolescents are most likely to be injured while participating in sports. Fireworks, BB guns, and various projectiles are less frequent causes of pediatric ocular trauma, but they are likely to cause severe injuries. The incidence of severe eye injury is particularly high in children aged 11–15 years compared with that in other age groups. Injured boys outnumber girls by a factor of 3 or 4 to 1.
Most serious childhood eye injuries could, in principle, be prevented by appropriate adult supervision and by regular use of protective eyewear during sports activities. These measures are particularly important for the child who already has monocular vision loss.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Sports Medicine and Fitness; American Academy of Ophthalmology, Eye Health and Public Information Task Force. Protective eyewear for young athletes. Ophthalmology. 2004;111(3):600–603.
Corneal abrasion is one of the most common ocular injuries in children and adults. Disruption of the corneal epithelium is usually associated with immediate pain, foreign-body sensation, tearing, and discomfort with blinking. Topical cycloplegic drops and antibiotic ointment may help reduce discomfort and the risk of infection, respectively. Traumatic corneal epithelial defects usually heal within 1–2 days. A pressure patch to keep the eyelids closed is not necessary for most abrasions. Many children find the patch uncomfortable, and patching does not reduce the time required for the abrasion to heal.
Excerpted from BCSC 2020-2021 series: Section 10 - Glaucoma. For more information and to purchase the entire series, please visit https://www.aao.org/bcsc.