February 14, 2018

From the Smarty Health Corner and CEENTA: When your child hurts your face

CEENTA Protect Your Face

By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A.

It seems like just yesterday your baby was a tiny newborn, wrapped in blankets and sleeping the day away. Now little Timmy has grown up just enough to start exploring the world around him, but he’s still not too big to hold. But as adorable as he is, and as much as he loves his mommy and daddy, those exploring hands of his may accidentally injure you. Let’s talk about what to watch out for and what to do if your little one does hurt some part of your face.

Before we start, we both know that your child isn’t intentionally trying to hurt you. Babies and toddlers are impulsive, aren’t completely aware of their bodies, don’t always have complete control of their bodies, and don’t understand the consequences of their actions. So remember: what’s painful to you might just be playful curiosity to them.

Keep an eye on your eyes

As children are moving their hands, they may move them a little too close to your eye and poke them. Children tend to have very small, thin, sharp nails, and they are just the right size to get in your eyelids and scratch your eye, CEENTA Optometrist Michael Spicola, OD, said.

CEENTA's Dr. Spicola

CEENTA’s Dr. Spicola

If that happens, your cornea may get scratched. If it does, a visit to the eye doctor is a good idea. While it may just need time to heal, it could also need treatment. Scratches can be very painful and can make your eye susceptible to infection. You definitely don’t want to rub your eye, as that can make it worse. Instead, you should keep it closed and get a bandage contact lens or pressure patch from your eye doctor.

Sometimes children don’t poke you in the eye. Sometimes baby Sally is holding a toy and decides she wants you to see it up close and very personal. So up close she smacks you in the face and gives you a black eye. If that happens, keep your eye iced. You also may want to go to a doctor. While it’s most likely just bruised, you may want to check and make sure there’s no internal damage.

Care for your nose

But what if your youngster hits you in the nose? While the chance they’ll break your nose is small, there’s still a chance your child could cause a nosebleed.

“A playful punch in the nose from our children is more likely to hurt our pride than break our nose,” CEENTA Otolaryngologist Hunter Hoover, MD, said.

CEENTA's Dr. Hoover

CEENTA’s Dr. Hoover

If your child does bloody your nose, Dr. Hoover recommends gently blowing your nose to remove the blood, then spraying inside it with a topical decongestant like Afrin, then pinching the lower half of your nose to staunch the blood flow.

Keep your ears protected

Children love to grab unusual things on adults’ faces. If you’ve ever worn glasses while holding a toddler, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It doesn’t hurt when glasses are pulled (though they may get smudged or dropped), but what if you’re wearing large earrings?

Not only could your child hurt you if they pull them, but they could end up tearing your earlobe. If that happens, you would need to visit a cosmetic surgeon – like those at CEENTA – to have it repaired. So if you are going to wear earrings while holding your little one, it’s a good idea to wear studs or other very small earrings, as they are more difficult to pull.

Remember, a little bit of precaution can go a long way towards pain-free playtime.

“Kids are going to do these things when they’re playing,” Dr. Spicola said. “Parents should be prepared or think ahead to avoid these injuries if possible.”

If your child hurt your eyes or ears while playing with you, call 704-295-3000 to request an appointment with CEENTA eye or ENT doctor.

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates

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