Drops should be administered without contact lenses in.
Wash hands, rinse and dry well with clean towel.
Place child in a comfortable position - on lap, or in chair, or in partner’s lap, with head tilted back. If administering drops first thing in the morning, or at bedtime, then lying in bed (or on a changing table) could work very well.
Shake bottle of eyedrops to evenly distribute the active ingredients.
Open bottle of eye drops.
Gently open the child’s eye and pull the lower lid down a little, which creates a well to catch the drop.
Instill one eye drop into relevant eye(s), telling the child that you are giving them an eye drop.
Slowly and gently close the eye and close up bottle.
Don’t worry if you only seem to have administered half a drop, or a double drop. The eye can only absorb a certain amount, which is less than the size of a typical drop.
Wipe any excess off face with a clean tissue, and discard.
Ask child to keep eye gently closed without squeezing it or blinking. Place the pad of your finger in the corner of the child’s eye, over the tear duct, for three minutes. This keeps the medicine in the eye and prevents it from getting into their system.
Wait at least five, ideally fifteen minutes, between eye drops. This allows each drop to have maximum effect.
Tips and tricks:
If you also have an ointment to administer in your child’s eye, always put the ointment in last. Otherwise, the lubricating oils in the ointment will prevent absorption of the eye drops.
Sometimes singing a specific nursery song or a rhyme can help a young child to get into the routine of daily eye drops.
If a young child is uncooperative, swaddle in a blanket or towel, with arms inside against body, and administer as above.
If you are still unable to gently open your child’s eye to instill the drop, then with the child lying down/in your arms, place the drop in the corner of the closed eye, by the tear duct. When the child opens their eye, the drop will be sucked into the eye.
If you have multiple eye drops to administer, always do them in the same order, to avoid confusion.Line them all up beforehand, and place them on a different shelf as soon as they have been administered. Check with your child’s doctor if there is a preferred order. We typically follow the order of glaucoma drops, then anti-inflammatory, then steroid, and lastly, antibiotic drop (or ointment).
If your child’s eye stings and waters after you administer the drop, or if their eye becomes red, please contact their ophthalmologist. There may be alternative drops, such as a preservative-free version, or a different class of eye drop, that the ophthalmologist can prescribe.