The first time I had to use medicinal eye drops on a kid happened to be while I was babysitting my four-year-old niece. She had a bad case of Pink Eye. Of course, using eye drops on anyone is a chore, let alone a child. Even adults dealing with allergies, conjunctivitis or dry eyes have a hard time dealing with looking at the drop as it dangles above their eye without blinking or closing their eyes. Closing one's eyes is an automatic reflex, making the use of eye drops a real challenge.
I had seen both my sister and brother-in-law dealing with all the fuss when trying their best to use medicinal eye drops on their daughter. That is when an idea dawned on me: “What if the dangling drop was nowhere to be seen in the first place? This is when I decided to try a little experiment while babysitting her one day:
- Inform the child of what you will be doing. I told my niece what needed to be done. I told her ahead of time that I would use the eye drops on her in fifteen minutes. I explained to her the reason I was using them and how the drops would help her eyes to heal sooner. I then told her that I knew a special trick that would make the process fast and not scary at all.
- Have the child relax first. Prior to taking the medication, I asked my niece to lie down on the couch. I delicately propped her head on the armrest of the couch. I asked her if she wanted to cover herself with a blanket or get her favorite stuffed animal.
- Have the child close her eyes. I asked my niece to close her eyes and think about her favorite things. I also instructed her not to open her eyes until I asked her to do so.
- Using the eye drops, fuss free. I then delicately put one eye drop in the corner of each eye (the corner located toward the nose).
- Let the eye drops do their job. Finally, I asked my niece to open her eyes. The drops followed the rule of gravity and naturally flowed into each eye, not losing any of the medication and best of all, without my niece seeing it coming. Her vision became blurred for a second but the look of surprise on her face made it all worth it. “It was not scary!” she exclaimed. The best part was that when the next time to use the eye drops came (after supper), my sister was shocked to hear her say, “Let Auntie show you how!” as she lied down on the couch.
My sister later told me that this trick was great and made things so much easier for everyone involved. From then on, she has been using this trick for both her kids as well as my mother. She agrees that this useful tip certainly taught her how to use eye drops on kids without the fuss.