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Eye ointment

Article Translations: (Spanish) (Hmong)

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 ointment?

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. Wash your hands well before and after giving the ointment.
  2. Read prescription label and directions carefully. If possible, give the ointment before bed or naptime, because the vision will be blurry for awhile.
  3. 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.
  4. Have your child lie down.
  5. If your child needs help holding still, have someone hold your child for you, or you can use a blanket to swaddle your child. 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.
  6. If possible, have your child look straight up.
  7. Pull down gently on your child's lower eyelid with one hand.
  8. Rest your other hand against the child's forehead, and apply a thin ribbon of ointment on the inside edge of the lower eyelid, from inner corner to outer corner. Cut off the ribbon by turning the tube.
  9. If your child cannot cooperate, place a thin layer of ointment on the area where the eyelids meet. The ointment will melt and enter the eye. Make sure that the tip of the applicator tube does not touch the eye.
  10. If possible, have your child close the eyes for 1 or 2 minutes and move the eye in all directions.
  11. Wipe the tip of the applicator with a clean tissue and replace the cap.


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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