What To Do If Baby Gets Sunscreen In Eyes? – Tips For Quick Relief

What To Do If Baby Gets Sunscreen In Eyes

Article by Macy Tollefson – doula, breastfeeding specialist & prenatal yoga teacher

Good & non-toxic sunscreen is essential to protect your kids from harmful UV rays and prevent skin cancers. It is so important that they are using sun protection and good SPF – especially for the skin on their face.

Unfortunately, if you are not careful, it’s easy for kids to get sunscreen in their eyes. If you’ve ever gotten sunscreen in your eye, I’m sure you know how much it can hurt – and for children, it’s no exception.

I know it can be scary to see sunscreen accidentally go in your child’s eyes, and you’re probably wondering whether or not it could cause any damage. You need to act fast, to relieve the pain as quickly as possible.

Keep reading, because I’ve got a quick and effective solution for you and your kids!

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

My Toddler Rubbed Sun Cream Into His Eyes – What Should I Do?

First off – don’t panic!

You want to move quickly, but don’t lose your cool. Your baby needs you to be calm and take control. They may feel scared and in pain, but rest assured that no permanent damage will be done, and they will be back to their usual self soon. If you stay calm, this will help them stay calm too.

Next, you need to gather your supplies. You will need: a steady stream of water and a clean, dry cloth. You may also find non-medicated eye drops to be helpful.

How Do You Get Sunscreen Out Of A Baby’s Eyes?

Here’s what you can do to bring relief to your baby’s eyes and get the sunscreen out.

1. Rinse Their Eyes With Water

The best way to get sunscreen out is rinsing your baby’s eyes with water. Find a steady stream of water (such as a shower or a bottle of clean water) and put their eyes in it1.

Try to keep their eyes open, to get the sunscreen out as quickly as possible. You can also gently massage their eyelids (with clean hands!), but be sure you’re not rubbing too hard.

If your child is old enough to understand, have them blink continuously so the water can wash out the cream.

2. Use Eye Drops

If you don’t have access to water right away, try using non-medicated eye drops or artificial tears to flush the cream out. You can continue to use these to ease the discomfort or irritation that is left after the sunscreen is gone.

3. Treat The Irritation

Your child may still experience some mild pain, stinging or irritation after you have flushed out the sunblock. This is normal!

Continue to use eye drops to soothe the eyes. Applying a cool, damp washcloth over their eyelids may also ease the pain. Have your child wear sunglasses that provide good UV protection, if you are continuing to stay out in the sun.

Remember it is normal for their vision to be a little blurry, even after the sunscreen has been flushed out2. If you are concerned about any symptoms your child may be experiencing, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor!

How Do You Get Sunscreen Out Of A Baby's Eyes

What To Do If Child Sprays Sunscreen In Eyes?

To remove spray sunscreen, the same principles as with creams – flush immediately with clean water or eye drops. See above for more detailed instructions.

Spray sunscreens are harder to control during application, so I would recommend avoiding using them on your children’s face. If you must use it, spray it onto your hands first, and then gently apply it to their face3.

It’s always a good idea to be aware of where you are spraying, to avoid it going into someone else’s eyes unintentionally!

How To Prevent Sunscreen From Getting Into Baby’s Eyes?

To lower the risk of sunscreen ending up in their eyes, there are a few things you can do.

First, start by applying smaller amounts of sunscreen to their face, at a time. Always rub slowly and carefully (especially around the eye area) until all of their skin is covered.

Maybe it goes without saying, but put their sunscreen on for them. Young children may not fully understand the risk of getting sunscreen in their eyes, and may not be as delicate in the application process. It’s important that every area of exposed skin is covered from the UV rays, which kids may not be able to see or reach.

If your child is old enough to understand and wanting to do it themselves, explain to them the importance of SPF and sun protection and then show them how to best apply sunscreen to their face. Many children love to do things for themselves, so showing them the best way to protect their skin from the sun is always a good idea.

And finally, try switching to a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Mineral sunscreens tend to stick to the skin better and are easier to see where it has been applied. Other sunscreens (especially ones filled with chemicals and harmful preservatives) tend to be runny, and could more easily end up in your children’s eyes.

By the way, majority of sunscreens for kids are mineral ones with zinc oxide as main active ingredient – that’s what differentiates baby sunscreens from majority of adult sunscreens.

It may also happen that your toddler rubs the mineral sunscreen in their hair – and it may be really hard to wash it off. I’m sharing my tips for getting sunscreen out of baby hair in this article >>

Can Sunscreen Damage Baby’s Eyes?

While getting sunscreen in their eyes may cause irritation and discomfort, it will not cause permanent eye damage4! There are many myths that sunscreen in the eyes may cause certain eye diseases or even blindness – but this couldn’t be further from the truth. It may be painful and the discomfort could last a little while, but your child will be ok!

It is essential to protect your children’s sensitive skin from sun exposure and skin cancer, so NEVER opt out of using one out of fear it may end up in their eye.

My Toddler Rubbed Sun Cream Into His Eyes what should I do

How Long Does It Take For Sunscreen To Stop Burning Eyes?

It may take a couple of hours for their eyes to not feel irritated. In the meantime, you can place a cool washcloth over their eyes to help soothe the pain. Using non-medicated eye drops (or artificial tears) throughout the day can also be helpful.

Always call your doctor or pediatrician if your child’s eyes are are still irritated after a few hours, or you think they may be having an allergic reaction.

Article By Macy Tollefson

Macy Tollefson is a full spectrum doula, breastfeeding specialist and prenatal yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding the modern mama on her journey through the beautiful (and wild) transformation of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Macy envisions a world where every mother has access to the resources she needs, and follows her intuition to make the best decisions about what is right for her and her baby.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.





About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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