Eye Patch (Child) 

Your child has been given an eye patch to wear. This type of eye patch is commonly used for a condition called amblyopia (or "lazy eye") where the vision in one eye is weaker than the other. An eye patch is used to cover the stronger eye so that your child's weaker eye will get stronger.

A patch might also be used if your child's eye has been injured. It protects the eye from further injury. It also keeps the eyelid closed. This helps healing after injury to the clear covering of the eye (cornea).

Eye patches come in 2 types. One type is stiff and is held in place with an elastic band that goes around the head. The other is made of gauze and is taped in place on the face.

Home care

Follow these guidelines when caring for your child at home:

  • For older children: If the eye hurts, apply a cold pack in a thin towel over the eye patch. Do this only for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day.

  • For babies and young children: A young child may try to pick at or remove the patch. To help prevent this, put mittens on your child’s hands.

  • If you need to reapply a gauze patch, make sure the eyelid is closed when you apply the patch. Don’t put a patch on an open eye. This can injure the cornea.

  • Remove the eye patch after 48 hours, unless your child’s healthcare provider instructs otherwise.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your child’s healthcare provider. Your child was scheduled for a follow-up appointment for patch removal and re-exam. Don't miss this appointment.

Special note to parents

To encourage your child to wear the patch, try to make it fun. For instance, suggest that he or she pretend to be a pirate or a monster.

When to seek medical advice

Call your child's healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Pain that is getting worse

  • Swelling, redness, or warmth in or around the eye

  • Thick or colored fluid coming from the eye

  • Fever (see Fever and children, below)

Fever and children

Use a digital thermometer to check your child’s temperature. Don’t use a mercury thermometer. There are different kinds of digital thermometers. They include ones for the mouth, ear, forehead (temporal), rectum, or armpit. Ear temperatures aren’t accurate before 6 months of age. Don’t take an oral temperature until your child is at least 4 years old.

Use a rectal thermometer with care. It may accidentally poke a hole in the rectum. It may pass on germs from the stool. Follow the product maker’s directions for correct use. If you don’t feel OK using a rectal thermometer, use another type. When you talk to your child’s healthcare provider, tell him or her which type you used.

Below are guidelines to know if your child has a fever. Your child’s healthcare provider may give you different numbers for your child.

A baby under 3 months old:

  • First, ask your child’s healthcare provider how you should take the temperature.

  • Rectal or forehead: 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • Armpit: 99°F (37.2°C) or higher

A child age 3 months to 36 months (3 years):

  • Rectal, forehead, or ear: 102°F (38.9°C) or higher

  • Armpit: 101°F (38.3°C) or higher

Call the healthcare provider in these cases:

  • Repeated temperature of 104°F (40°C) or higher

  • Fever that lasts more than 24 hours in a child under age 2

  • Fever that lasts for 3 days in a child age 2 or older

 

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