Contusion, Periorbital (Black Eye) (Infant/Toddler)

Contusion, Periorbital (Black Eye) (Infant/Toddler)

The eye socket is known as the orbit. The area around the eye is the periorbital area. A blow to the eye can cause a bruise. This is known as a periorbital contusion. It is commonly called a “black eye.”

Symptoms of a black eye include black-and-blue skin discoloration and swelling. It is likely to be painful. The eyelid may be swollen, making it difficult to open and close the eye.

Cool compresses or cold packs help reduce swelling. Bruising may take a while to heal, depending on the severity of the injury. If the eye itself is injured, the child will likely be given an eye shield to wear for at least a week.

Home Care:

Medications: The doctor may prescribe medications for pain and inflammation. Follow the doctor’s instructions for giving these medications to your child.

General Care:

  1. As much as possible, hold your child with his or her head higher than the heart for the first day or so. This will help relieve swelling.

  2. Try to keep your child resting or playing quietly as much as possible for a day or two. Do not let your child participate in very active play.

  3. Prevent your child from rubbing the injured eye.

  4. Hold a cold pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped in a thin, dry cloth to the injury. Do this for up to 15 minutes at a time to relieve swelling and pain. Do this every hour while the child is awake. Continue using cold for 1 or 2 days or for as long as you’ve been instructed.

  5. Follow the healthcare provider’s instructions for use of an eye shield, if applicable.

Follow Up

as advised by the doctor or our staff.

Special Notes To Parents:

Healthcare providers are trained to recognize injuries like this one in young children as a sign of possible abuse. Several healthcare providers may ask questions about how your child was injured. Healthcare providers are required by law to ask you these questions. This is done for protection of the child. Please try to be patient and not take offense.

Get Prompt Medical Attention

if any of the following occurs:

  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision

  • Enlarging bruise

  • Continued swelling or pain

  • Nausea or vomiting