Causes of Eye-Rubbing in Children
There are several reasons why children might rub their eyes. It could be that something is irritating their eyes, or they might be tired and rubbing their eyes is a way to relieve fatigue. In some cases, children might have allergies that cause them to rub their eyes frequently.
If your child is rubbing their eyes regularly, it’s important to take them to a doctor so they can rule out any underlying medical conditions. If there is no medical reason for eye-rubbing, you can do a few things to help stop your child from doing it.
Identify what triggers your child’s eye-rubbing behavior and address that issue directly. If they seem to rub their eyes more when they’re tired, ensure they get enough sleep. If allergies are the problem, talk to your doctor about the appropriate treatments.
You can also teach your child some simple exercises that can help relieve eye fatigue and irritation. These exercises should be done several times daily, only when your child is not actively rubbing their eyes.
When to Worry About Eye-Rubbing in Children
Although most children rub their eyes occasionally, some do it so frequently that it becomes a habit. If your child rubs their eyes constantly, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. Eye-rubbing can sometimes lead to other problems, such as amblyopia (lazy eye).
Pay attention to other signs and symptoms if your child is rubbing their eyes more than usual. If your child also has any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your child’s doctor:
-Red, irritated eyes
-Itching or burning eyes
-Sensitivity to light
-Frequent headaches or migraines
How to Stop a Child from Rubbing Their Eyes
If your child is constantly rubbing their eyes, it could be a sign that they are having trouble seeing. It could also be a sign of allergies or a cold. Whatever the reason, it’s important to stop your child from rubbing their eyes to prevent further irritation. Here are a few tips to stop a child from rubbing their eyes.
Try to determine the cause of the eye-rubbing
Before you can take steps to get your child to stop rubbing their eyes, it’s important to try to determine the cause of the problem. Often, children rub their eyes because they are tired or have an itch. However, there are some other possible causes, including:
-Allergies: If your child’s eyes are itchy and watery, they may be rubbing their eyes because of allergies. If you suspect allergies are the cause, talk to your child’s doctor about possible treatments.
-Dry eye: Dry eye is a condition that can make the eyes feel irritated and uncomfortable. Children with dry eyes may rub their eyes more frequently than usual. If you think that dry eye may be the problem, talk to your child’s doctor about possible treatments.
-Eye infection: If your child’s eyes are red and irritated, they may have an infection. This is especially likely if your child also has symptoms like fever or discharge from their eyes. If you think an infection may be the problem, take your child to the doctor immediately.
Distract your child with another activity
You can do several things to help stop your child from rubbing their eyes. One of the best things you can do is to try to distract them with another activity. This can be anything from singing a song to playing a game. You can also try to give them a toy to hold or something to fidget with. If they are old enough, ask them to brainstorm a list of other things they could do instead of rubbing their eyes.
Another good option is to try to figure out what is causing the eye irritation in the first place. You can try giving your child an antihistamine if it is allergies. If it is due to dryness, then using artificial tears or ointment may help. You can also try using a cold compress on the eyes, which can help with allergies and dryness.
If your child is still rubbing their eyes after trying these things, you should take them to an allergist or ophthalmologist. They may need stronger medication or have a more serious problem that needs to be treated.
Use positive reinforcement
Use positive reinforcement when your child refrains from rubbing their eyes. This might include verbal praise, a sticker, or another small reward. After some time, your child should begin to associate not rubbing their eyes with a pleasant outcome.
Try over-the-counter eye drops
If your child’s eye rubbing is due to dry eyes, over-the-counter artificial tears may help. Child-friendly brands are available. Follow the package directions for how often to use them.
A cool, wet cloth may also help soothe your child’s eyes. Apply the cloth to your child’s closed eyelids for a few minutes.
If you suspect your child’s eye rubbing is due to allergies, ask your doctor if over-the-counter or prescription eye drops might help.