Eye hygene tips for your baby

Medical content revised by - Last revision 03/07/2018
Eye hygene tips for your baby

Eyes are especially sensitive and should be cleaned with safety. Your baby’s skin is much thinner since adipose tissue is scarce and has little subcutaneous fat, which is why special hygiene habits should be carried out.

Good eye hygiene can prevent the development of future eye infections.

Newborns tend to have a lot of rheum or scab because they produce a lot of mucin, a mucous fluid that serves to moisturize the eye.

Moreover, newborns sleep for a long period of time boosting the appearance of these residues.

When this substance dries, sediments appear on the outside of the eyes and eyelids.  In addition to that, this type of secretions and the lack of lacrimal drainage, facilitate the appearance of eye infections. This is why it is important to keep good eye hygiene in babies.

How to clean a baby’s eyes?

Here are some tips on how to clean the eyelids and eyes of your baby:

  • Before cleaning, it is important to wash your hands with water and neutral soap to avoid infecting the baby’s eye.
  • You should never wipe the eyes with your hand, cotton or a cloth or paper handkerchief. A sterile object must always be used.
  • Never separate the eyelids from the baby when they are dry. Before separating them, eyes should be moistened.
  • The cleaning should be carried out with a sterilized wet wipe or gauze in order to soften the scabs and facilitate the extraction of secretions. Never rub or scratch if they do not disappear as it could damage the baby’s eye.
  • Physiological serum will be used to moisten the gauze. In case of not having serum, you could use boiled water once it is warm.
  • Chamomile and other infusions should not be used to clean the eye, as it is not a sterile product and could cause allergies or infections.
  • The eye should always be cleaned from the tear duct to the corner of the eye so that the debris is dragged out.
  • The baby should be lying on his back.
  • It is recommended to clean the eyes of the baby a couple of times a day: after waking up, that is when there is a greater accumulation of secretions and, after the bath since the secretions have softened and it will be easier to clean.

Warning signs

In case the baby presents persistent or abundant secretions and of green or yellow color, it is advisable to go to the pediatric ophthalmologist to verify if there is an obstruction of the lacrimal way.

Also, if the baby’s eyes are swollen or red with abundant secretion, you should make an appointment with the ophthalmologist to check if the baby suffers from an ocular infection.

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