What To Do When Your Child Pokes His Own Eye

Last week I got a phone call from Ben’s kindergarten teacher, “Hi Trina, I don’t want to alarm you, but I wanted to let you know Ben hurt his eye.  We were eating snack and somehow he jabbed his eye with his spoon.  I think he is okay, but he won’t let me look at it and he has been crying and upset for awhile.”

“Wait, what happened?” I asked.

“I’m not really sure.  He said he accidentally poked his eye with his spoon.  When I asked him if I could look at it he screamed, ‘Don’t make me open my eye!’  I just don’t know if he really hurt it, or not.”

“Did you put a cool cloth on it?” I suggested.

“Yes.  You know, his eyelashes are so long, they could be poking his eye.  But he refuses to let go, so I can’t tell if he scratched it or not.  I don’t think it’s really injured, but it’s his eye!”

“Yeah.  Hmm.”  I pondered.

His teacher went on, “It’s been about 20 minutes.  Does he usually stay this upset over injuries?”

“No.”  I said, “But luckily, he hasn’t really been injured.  Do you want me to come pick him up?”

“Not yet.” She said.  “I just wanted to keep you informed.  I was hoping he would get distracted, but he won’t let go of his eye.”

“I think you need to tell Ben it’s time to make a pirate eyepatch.  This way, his eye can stay covered and maybe once he can use both hands, he’ll open his eye on his own.”

“Make him an eyepatch?”  his teacher confirmed.

“Yes.  A pirate one.  He can use it injured or not.”  I joked.

“Okay.  I’ll give it a try, and if he hasn’t opened his eye in a bit, I’ll call you back.”

“Great, thanks.”  I hung up the phone.

When I went to pick up Ben that afternoon he was happily playing, no signs of injury or mishap.  I approached his teacher and asked about the transformation.  She told me that after hanging up with me Ben had asked fragilely, “Is my mom coming to pick me up?”

“No.”  she answered.  “But she suggested I make you a pirate eyepatch.”

“Oh.” Ben replied sadly.  Then looking up he said, “What color?”


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