Eye: Chemical in

Most chemicals just cause temporary stinging and irritation (for example, alcohol or hydrocarbons such as those in hairsprays are safe). However, acids and alkalis splashed into the eye can severely damage the cornea (clear part of the eye). All should be treated as emergencies until your healthcare provider or a Poison Control Center expert tells you otherwise.

First Aid

Immediate and thorough flooding of the eye with tap water is needed to prevent damage to the cornea. Do this as quickly as possible. Either hold your child’s face up under a gently running water tap or have your child lie down and continuously pour lukewarm water into the eye from a pitcher or glass. If there is no water handy, use milk. It is very important to hold the eyelids open during this process. For most chemicals, you should flush the eye for 15 to 30 minutes. Call your child’s provider IMMEDIATELY after flushing the eye with water.

Written by Barton D. Schmitt, MD, author of “My Child Is Sick,” American Academy of Pediatrics Books.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-06-19
Last reviewed: 2014-06-10
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 Barton D. Schmitt, MD. All rights reserved.

Patient Portal

myTuftsMed is our new online patient portal that provides you with access to your medical information in one place. MyTuftsMed can be accessed online or from your mobile device providing a convenient way to manage your health care needs from wherever you are.

With myTuftsMed, you can:

  1. View your health information including your medications, test results, scheduled appointments, medical bills even if you have multiple doctors in different locations.
  2. Make appointments at your convenience, complete pre-visit forms and medical questionnaires and find care or an emergency room.
  3. Connect with a doctor no matter where you are.
  4. Keep track of your children’s and family members’ medical care, view upcoming appointments, book visits and review test results.
  5. Check in on family members who need extra help, all from your private account.


Your privacy is important to us. Learn more about ourwebsite privacy policy. X