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Chemical Conjunctivitis

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Mister suddenly started crying and saying his eyes were hurting.  Because his has bilateral nasal lacrimal duct stings, we take all eye complaints seriously.  Upon inspection, his eyes were red and watery… and had the distinct scent of my cologne.


“What happened?” I asked him, as I headed for the shower.

“Sissy sprayed me.”

Sister followed saying, “Thoddy.  Thoddy.” (Sorry)

I stripped off his clothes and put him the shower, turning it on.  Of course, he wouldn’t hold his eyes open (duh), so I got in with him.  Trying to hold him, hold his eyes open, and keep her out of the shower proved to be a futile endeavor.  So, we got out, got dressed and headed to the Urgent Care down the road.

Only to discover that the Urgent Care was closed.


What is the point of an Urgent Care, if not to be open when physicians offices are closed?

Back in the van went we, and then another few miles down the road to the Emergency Room.

Fortunately, our wait was minimal.

I explained to the E.R. Physician that I had tried to rinse his eyes, but was unable to hold them open long enough to be of any benefit.  I also reported that we attempted to go to the Urgent Care, but it was closed.  The doctor told me that the Urgent Care would have likely sent us to E.R. anyway, since Mister has the stints.  So, I suppose it was not a wasted trip to E.R.

Mister had to have his eyes flushed.  It took three of us to do it, and both nurses commented on how “strong” Mister’s eyelids are.  LOL.  Don’t I know it!  He’s had them messed with enough, he can clench them tighter than a pitbull clenches it’s jaw around a treasured bone.

chemical conjunctivitis

Diagnosis- Bilateral chemical conjunctivitis (i.e. chemical burn right and left eyelids).

After his eyes were flushed, and while we waited for paperwork, Mister’s nurse was kind enough to give both kidlets a coloring book and colors.

coloring book

Both kids thoroughly enjoyed their treasures!

kids coloring

So, what SHOULD you do when your child gets a chemical in their eyes?

For all chemical eye injuries, it is important to irrigate the eye with a lot of fluid, ideally “eye wash” or sterile isotonic saline solution, however, if you don’t have that on hand, use cold tap water. The eyes should be rinsed for ten minutes or longer, which can be done by having them stand under the shower with their eyes open as wide as possible.  If the chemical happens to be an alkali or hydrofluoric acid, emergency medical care is required.

The next best step, if possible, is to find out what type of chemical you have been exposed to. You can look on the product label or call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 to find out more about a specific chemical.

If a trip to the emergency room is necessary, take the chemical with you.

As I like to say, it is always better safe than sorry.

Looks like I will be stocking up on some sterile isotonic saline solution.

Having Eye Wash in your first aid kit could save a trip to Urgent Care… I mean E.R.

Posts may contain affiliate links. See Disclosure. All Opinions are My Own
About Virginia

Hi there! My name is Virginia, and I am the author/owner of That Bald Chick. I am a Christian, wife, mother of three, full time homemaker, homeschooler, and ministry volunteer in addition to being a blogger. In my free time *cough* I enjoy reading, writing, taking walks with my family, and listening to music.


  1. Awwww, I’m sorry to hear that. I’m glad to hear that he is doing better though. I’ll keep the sterile isotonic saline solution in mind if this ever happens in my household.
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  2. Poor little guy. I’ve got the sterile solution at my house too – just in case!
    Janessa recently posted..St Patrick’s Day FunMy Profile

  3. Oh my. So glad that his eyes are OK.
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  4. Poor little love!! So glad that he is okay!

  5. I’m glad the lil’ guy is O.K.
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  6. I’m so sorry that happened to your little guy. Ouch! I’m glad you managed to get it all rinsed out and taken care of in the end though.

    10 minutes of eye rinsing would be a challenge at any age though. It’s really not comfortable to do it for a few seconds. I feel for him.

  7. Yikes!! So glad he’s ok now… poor guy..
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  8. Poor little guy.

  9. Glad that he’s okay now!!

  10. Oh no, poor little guy! I’m glad he’s okay.
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  11. ouchie! I’m sure glad Mister has a mommy who knows just what to do.
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  12. Oh wow, Yeah! Urgent care should be open when you need it! YIKES!

    Thanks for letting us know what to do if the same thing happened to us
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  13. so sorry to hear that. glad he’s ok. thanks for the info about sterile isotonic saline solution
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