Taking care of a baby involves a lot of things. But when most of us think about these things, we imagine feeding, changing diapers, and bathing. What a lot of new parents don’t think about is how they’ll react when they find something in their child’s eye like a hair.
This can be distressing for both you and your baby but you need to make sure you safely remove the offending hair.
The best way to get a stray hair stuck in baby’s eye is to use a damp q tip to gently dab it out while holding the eye open. Alternatively, you could use lukewarm water to flush the hair out of your baby’s eyes.
The good news is that foreign objects in a baby’s eye will usually flush out naturally with their tears. However, if the hair is causing discomfort or doesn’t budge by itself, you will need to intervene.
How to remove hair from a baby’s eye
Things not to do when your baby has a hair in her eye
Knowing when to seek medical advice
Stopping hair from getting into a baby’s eye
What to do if you baby won’t leave her eye alone
Removing Hair From Your Baby’s Eye
There’s nothing quite as irritating as having something stuck in your eye. As adults it can be tricky enough dealing with foreign objects but when newborn babies have something in their eye, they don’t understand what’s going on and it can be very upsetting for them. Of course, when your baby is upset, that can be difficult for you too.
But the most important thing is to know how to get the hair out of your baby’s eye safely.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a cotton swab to remove the hair. You’ll need to first make sure to wash your hands to prevent any irritation, then follow these steps:
Make sure that you can see properly by being in a well-lit room
Depending on where the hair is located, you may need to hold open the lower eyelid or upper eyelid. Your baby probably isn’t going to like this too much so it can be helpful to have another person on hand to distract or comfort them.
Now take a damp q tip and use this to dab the hair away. You could also use a damp washcloth if you prefer. Remember to be gentle at all times.
If this method fails, then you may need to use lukewarm water to flush the eye. Saline solution is also another viable product for this.
How To Flush Your Baby’s Eye
If you cannot remove the hair using the above method then you may need to flush the eye using water or a saline solution. This won’t be a pleasant experience for your baby but it’s one that needs to be done nonetheless.
As well as making sure that you use lukewarm water, you’ll also need to use the correct pouring equipment. For small babies, a dropper is the best option but for slightly older children, you can use a cup that has a spout.
You’ll need to tilt your baby’s head so that the affected eye points down. This will prevent water from getting into their nose and mouth or onto their face. Place a clean towel or washcloth under them to catch the water and begin gently flushing the eye.
Use your fingers to hold the eye open and you can carry on flushing for as long as 15 minutes.
Keeping Your Child Calm
As I have mentioned, you will probably need a second person to help with the process of removing hair from your baby’s eyes. Children at this age won’t understand that you’re trying to help them and will wriggle and squirm trying to get you to stop. This is why a tag team approach is best.
If your baby really won’t keep still, wrapping them in a blanket will keep those arms and legs from flailing. Plus this will feel more comfortable for your little one.
You should also make sure that you remain calm when taking the hair out. Yes, this is a delicate process but if you’re shaking or make sudden movements, you could hurt your baby and nobody wants that.
Things To Avoid
It’s really important to get that foreign object out of your baby’s eye but there are some things that you’ll need to do where safety is concerned.
For starters, don’t ever use a sharp object such as a set of tweezers in an attempt to try and grab the hair. Moreover, you should not rub the eye to try and dislodge the hair as this could make it worse.
Always ensure good hygiene by washing your hands before touching your child’s eye and make sure that any equipment you use is also clean.
If you are going to use water to flush the eye, this should not be too hot. Room temperature is more than sufficent. You just don’t want it to be so cold that it’s uncomfortable for your child.
Do I Need To Call A Doctor?
In most cases, small particles, hairs and other debris will naturally be flushed out of your child’s eye. But sometimes, these items may become stuck and it could be necessary to see a doctor.
The eyes are incredibly delicate organs and it doesn’t take much for them to become irritated and painful. If any of the following apply then it’s probably time to call in the pros.
After removing the hair, your child is still complaining of pain or irritation. In young babies, this may be displayed by rubbing, tears, and general discomfort.
When an item has been stuck in the eye for longer than two hours.
You cannot remove the hair.
There is any sticky fluid or blood coming from the eye.
How To Prevent Hair In Baby Eye
One of the most common things to get into a baby’s eye is pet hair. If you have animals in the home then it’s super important to regularly vacuum to limit how much hair is floating around. Grooming your pet and not allowing them near your baby’s bed and other areas can also help.
General cleanliness in the home will remove any rogue hairs which will help to prevent incidents like the ones we have discussed in this article. This applies particularly to places where your baby spends a lot of time such as their bed.
If you notice any particles or hairs on your baby’s face, be sure to wash these away as soon as possible. Keeping your baby’s face clean will also remove stray hairs or eyelashes.
What If My Baby Keeps Rubbing Her Eye?
If your little one has something stuck in her eye then there’s a good chance that she’s going to rub it. This is to be expected; imagine if you had something in your eye, you’d do exactly the same.
However, it’s important to understand that this can cause further irritation so you’ll need to get her to stop rubbing the eye, if possible.
For babies, swaddling them in a blanket will limit their access to the eye. But for older children, you may need to cover the eye using something like a plastic cup.
From time to time, we all get things stuck in our eyes like a stray eyelash or a hair from a pet. Usually, our tear ducts will produce tears to wash these items away but there may be times that you need to remove hair from a baby’s eye manually.
Using a damp q tip or flushing the eye is the best way to get rid of those pesky hairs. Just keep calm and remember to bring in your partner or someone else to help as your baby might not be willing to cooperate. Above all, try not to worry as nine times out of ten, this is a situation where medical advice isn’t needed.
If you cannot remove the hair or there is severe irritation, you may need to have a doctor see to your child.