Toddler Constantly Rubbing His Eye's??

Updated on June 03, 2008
A.L. asks from Overland Park, KS
8 answers

My son (who is almost two) has recently started rubbing his eye's. We have no history of allergies, and the inside of his eyes are not red (so I do not think it has anything to do with allergies). I think it is a "habit". I have tried telling him "no touching", giving him praise, ignoring the behavior (which is hard, because I don't want him to scratch the inside of his eye from too much rubbing). I am kicking myself because I am a therapist, and I am at a loss of what to do!? Has anyone experienced this with their children? If so, was it a phase that passed?

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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

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answers from Tulsa on

I would instantly suspect he has some sort of skin irritation there. Like he hasn't gotten the soap off of his face or somehow he's developed a yeast infection there or it spread from somewhere else. My middle boy has one spot on the back of his head that is just susceptible to yeast.

If you truly believe it's a habit then I would swab his eyes with a cold wet cotton ball everytime you see him rubbing them. Be as unemotional as possible when you do so he doesn't use it as an attention getter.

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answers from Lawton on

I honestly have no idea, but I am currently dealing with the same thing with my 2 1/2 year old. Although, he is on Zyrtec and Benadryl it still seems to bother him.



answers from Kansas City on

My first thought it maybe it's his eyes...maybe he's rubbing them becasue what's he's seeing is blurry and he's trying to fix that. My son was about two when we noticed him having problems with his eyes, he had to have glasses. I'd check with your doctor and see what they think then take him to Children's Mercy, their eye clinic is aweseome.



answers from Springfield on

Both my boys had allergies that kicked in around 2yrs old. Now they get a swallow of Zyrtek in the morning, and one at bedtime if my dark blue car has turned yellow from all the pollen, heh. I can tell it's pollen season when they start rubbing their eyes. The school nurse even tried to send one home yesterday, thinking pinkeye, til I told her that it's just allergies, and she took another look, and agreed with me. SO I'd check with your ped. Eyes are too important to mess around with, and better safe that sorry, right? :)



answers from Oklahoma City on

Allergies don't always run in families and with the tree pollen hitting record highs, I would not rule out allergies. Tree allergies affect mainly the eyes. Try some children's benadryl, I would try to rule out medical before disciplining him for what you think is a habit.

Also, I have found with a two year old, the more you pay attention to it, the more he'll do it because it is getting him attention. Try the meds and try to ignore it and make sure to keep his nails trims so he doesn't damage his eyes. Well that's my two cents.



answers from Kansas City on

Simply try giving him over the counter Claritin or Benedryl. Even though there isn't a history of allergies doesn't mean that he isn't suffering from them. The pollen count/mold count has been considerable high so it is possible that he is suffering mildly from seasonal spring allergies. My son itches his eyes/nose and his eyes aren't red either, but after giving him claritin he gets better. Don't chalk it up to being a behavior thing...if your that worried about it take him to his doctor.



answers from Kansas City on

Take him to the doctor. Even if he's never shown signs of allergies before, it can take a while for them to build up, or the conditions around him may not have been right before now. My son was allergy free until he was old enough to run around outside on his own. Now he has mild allergies and has meds that clear them up quickly.

Until you get to the doctor, try giving him a warm, damp wash cloth to press against his eyes. It'll keep him from scratching and can be redirected into washing his face or whatever if it's just a habit he's picked up.



answers from Topeka on

Do you notice if he has a vision problem,if it's not allergies or irritation I'd look into getting his eye's checked out.By a pediatric eye dr.

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