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Eye drops

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Hmong) (Somali)

How should I prepare my child?

  • Explain to your child what you are going to do before you start.
  • Describe what you are doing as you do it.
  • Speak in a calm, reassuring voice.
  • Praise your child when you are done.

How should I give the drops?

For some children, especially young ones, it can be hard to give this medicine. But you must do it as often and for as long as prescribed in order to get the desired results.

  1. If the medicine is cool, warm it to body temperature by putting it in your pocket.
  2. Wash your hands well before and after giving the drops.
  3. Read prescription label and directions carefully.
  4. If the eye has drainage or crusts, wipe the eye from inner corner to outer corner with a cotton ball and water. If both eyes are being treated, use a separate cotton ball for each eye.
  5. Have your child lie down on his or her back.
  6. If your child needs help holding still, have someone hold your child for you, or you can use a blanket for swaddling. If you are alone here is another way to safely hold your child in the correct position:
    • Sit on the bed or floor with the child's head between your thighs and the arms under your legs.

    • Place your lower legs over your child's legs if needed.
  7. If possible, have your child look straight up.
  8. With one hand, pull down gently on your child's lower eyelid, making a pocket.
  9. Rest your other hand against the child's forehead and hold the dropper about one inch from your child's eye.
  10. Put one drop inside the lower eyelid, not on the eyeball. Do not touch the dropper to the eye.
  11. It can be hard to open the eyelids of infants and young children. If so, put the drop into the inner corner of the eye. When the child opens the eye, the medicine will flow into it.
  12. To prevent the medicine from going into the nose and throat and causing a "bad taste," apply gentle pressure to the inner corner of the eye.

What else do I need to know?

Store eye drops at room temperature unless you are told otherwise.

Some eye drops sting if the eye is inflamed. This lasts a minute or so, and will go away as the eye improves.


This is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call the clinic.

Last reviewed 8/2015 

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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