How to Administer Eye Ointments to Children
Try not to treat the administration as an ordeal. Stay calm and the child may also stay
1. Wash hands before and after administering eye ointment. Conjunctivitis is the most
common reason for eye medicines. It may be easily spread to the other eye and also
2. Wrapping the child in a blanket may help to immobilize him/her.
3. Lay the child flat on his/her back and have him/her look at the ceiling.
Sit the child in a chair looking up, with his/her head resting on the chair back.
Cradle the child in your arms with his/her head held securely in the crook of your
The ointment tube tip must be kept clean. Avoid touching the tip of the tube against the
eye, or anything else. Let the ointment drop into the eye.
4. Hold the tube between the thumb and forefinger of your hand.
5. Brace the palm of this hand against the child’s forehead or cheek, whichever is easier
6. With the index finger of your other hand, pull the lower lid down to form a pocket.
Pull the lower lid out with the thumb and forefinger to form a “V” pocket with the lid
7. Squeeze the tube gently to produce a short strip of ointment.
8. Place the strip of ointment, about 1/4” long, into the pocket
made by the lower lid.
9. Release the lower lid and have the child close his/her eyes
while rolling the eyeball.
If necessary, wipe off excess ointment from eyelashes and eyelids
with a tissue.
10. Replace the ointment cap and tighten.
The child’s eyesight may be cloudy or blurry after using the ointment. A bedtime dose is
preferable if it is needed once a day.
The ointment may feel cool or uncomfortable at first. It will feel soothing after a short
Keep the medicine out of the reach of children.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©
5/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the
Department of Nursing HF#7051.