7 answers

Tricks for Administering Eye Drops?

Does anyone have any tricks for administering eye drops to an unwilling toddler? We've tried food bribes, treat bribes and reasoning, but each time we attempt to get those drops in the experience is more traumatic than the last attempt. We still have several days to go on the prescription, so any advice on how to make it a little more palatable for our 3 year old would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi L.,
Have you tried administering the drops to your little ones favourite toy? Even showing that you or your husband is administering them (of course acting like you are administering them to yourself) may make him want to do it. Give him a small empty bottle so he can pretent to do it to himself or his toy and then you do it to him.
Make it into a game.
I hope this works- I know this can be hard.

Try it when he's sleeping.

Our doctor told us to put the drop between the eyes while the child is lying down so that it cuts down the hassle of keeping the eye open to put the drop in. The eye drop slides down into the eye. Hopefully you have someone with you who can assist restraining him. When my son went through fighting medicine, the key was my husband helping, staying calm, and thanking him for being cooperative after taking it.


Eye drops are never easy and they are never going to like it. We take a towel and swadle our little ones and sit on them without hurting them. My spouse holds our childs head and I open the eye and drop them in. The sooner it is over the better and then we can hug and love. We dialog about how important it is for their eyes to get the medicine to make it better. You can always give a reward afterwards too. I hope this helps. My daughter had eye surgery, so we have had to administer many eye drops.

Yours Truly,

I used to have my daughter lie still w/ her eyes closed - try making a game of it. I'd then put a drop in the inner corner of her eye. Once there I would gently open her upper eye lid so that the drop would then enter the eye. She may have to move her head a little to the side so that the drop rolls over into the eye. Hope it helps!

Administering eye drops is one of my least favorite things!

You can tilt the child's head so that you place the eye drops in the "well" of the closed eye (the inside corner). When your child opens his/her eyes, the medicine flows right in. The adult has to keep the child's head in a position that allows the medicine to enter the eye, but most kids open their eyes in surprise that you're not pulling at their eyelids. This works the best on the changing table, but I've had kids stand up with their head leaned back against me.

Also, ask your child if the eye drops burn his/her eyes. Some types of drops do burn.

Good luck! S.

I only tried a bribe one time and that was disasterous and I was afraid that it would set up a future pattern. My son was going to get some blood taken and he was pitching a fit. I told him I would get hima toy and he quieted down and then I apologized to him and told him I was wrong t do that that he needed to get the blood taken and just do it because that was what needed to be done. I would tell your child very quietly and firmly that this is waht needs to be done and approach it with authority. Also put the drops in the corner of the eyes (toward the nose) so that it is not as scarey as coming at his eyeball. T.

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