At Peanut’s exam under anesthesia (EUA) this past Wednesday, I was forcibly reminded of the challenges of giving eye drops to small children. When we first started our journey, it took Efrit and me working together to manage to give Peanut his drops, and even then, it was a challenge. Fortunately, a fellow mom stepped in with a trick she uses to suction out her kids’ noses with a nasal aspirator (another toddler non-favorite!); this trick has made the eyedrop process much easier for us. I have a feeling that many of us struggle with eyedrops and nose-cleanings, so thought I would share our eyedrop restraint method here.
Our pal Elmo has graciously agreed to help me demonstrate our eyedrop restraint. Thank you Elmo!
1. Sit down on a level surface, such as the floor or your bed, with your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Have your child lay down between your legs on his back, with his head towards your tummy, like so:
Your child’s arms should be at the level of your knees.
3. Slide your child’s left arm under your left knee and his right arm under your right leg. You’re now able to hold your child’s head still with your thighs and keep his hands away from his eyes by holding his arms down with your knees:
4. You now have both hands free to administer eye drops to your child:
If you’re giving multiple drops, like the three drops per eye every 5 minutes you give to prepare for an EUA, I recommend having either a second person there to hand off bottles with or preparing the bottles ahead of time: speed is of the essence. It’s also a good idea to have some tissues close at hand, especially if you’re giving multiple sets of drops. (Although this restraint method enabled me to give Peanut drops on my own–a lifesaver, given that Efrit’s not here most nights when Peanut goes to bed–it didn’t stop Peanut from hating the drops, struggling and crying. The idea here is to stop the fighting so you can get the drops done and get on with cuddling and consoling as quickly as possible.)