A MUM shared a photo of her little boy with a bloodshot eye to warn other parents of the cause.
Liz Partridge says her three-year-old son James had chemical burns that lasted weeks after getting antibacterial gel into his eye.
James got antibacterial gel into his eye and suffered chemical burns
The surface of his left eye was “completely burnt off”, causing his vision to be “totally impaired” and agonizing pain.
James’ eye swelled so much that he couldn’t open it.
The toxic liquid had squirted into his eye after he used a foot pump dispenser, which are sometimes found in public places.
Liz, from Wellington, New Zealand, told local website Stuff: “It was bloody frightening.
“We didn’t sleep for three nights as he was crying in pain constantly and that was with full doses of painkillers. He couldn’t open his eyes.”
James was taken to the emergency room straight after the incident.
He was sent home with eye drops, but the next morning was rushed back by Liz.
“James couldn’t open his eye and it had swollen enormously and had gunk from infection,” Liz said.
The youngster has been in and out of hospital for treatment in order for specialists to try and save his eyesight.
The family’s doctor said his eye has healed to about 90 per cent, but until he is older, it’s not clear if his long-sighted vision will be impaired.
He has suffered muscle damage around the eye area which makes his eye slightly droopy and hooded.
Liz said she would be “heartbroken” if the distressing incident happened to any other children.
She said: “Ideally they’d simply take it away and use hand pump bottles.
“It doesn’t seem right that something that can be so harmful, and actually alluring for curious children, is placed in their direct reach.”
While the incident occurred in October 2020, the image was circulated recently by the Instagram account of Tiny Hearts Education – a website devoted to teaching parents about the health of youngsters.
The caption read: “Exposure to chemicals in the eye/s can range from a minor injury to complete blindness.
“These kinda accidents can occur from a whole range of chemicals.
“It could be acidic agents such as bleach, window cleaner, vinegar and pool chemicals, or alkali agents such as fertilisers, drain cleaners, sparklers, plaster and cement – but the list is endless!”
Adults can also suffer injury from these types of products.
But needless to say, children can be unaware of the risks and get themselves into trouble, especially when parents aren’t looking.
Tiny Hearts continued: “Chemical eye injuries are a time-critical medical emergency.
“If one occurs to your little one you are going to take them to an emergency department ASAP- but first you are going to IRRIGATE!”
Irrigating the eye is so important as we aim to flush out as much of the chemical as possible. It is best done with Normal Saline but when this is not available running water will do the trick.”
An eye injury will cause redness, stinging, burning, watering, sensitivity to light, changed vision and swelling.
To irrigate the eyes:
- If your child is very young, wrap them up in a towel like a burrito to help keep them still. Older children can stand/sit by the sink, ideally another adult to help support their head.
- Gently tilt your child’s head back over the sink and run slightly warm water into their eyes, encouraging them to blink. Do this for at least 15 minutes.
- Irrigating the eye can sting after chemical exposure so lots of encouragement and explanation is key.
- Once irritated, cover the eye with a patch and go to hospital