Is your Toddler’s Eyelid Swollen? Here’s what you should know

3 min read

Written by Pradeep


Childhood is full of coughs, colds, sneezes, and the occasional localized infection. Whether your child has fallen and cut open their knee or they’ve got an earache causing them distress, trying to soothe and comfort a little one who is suffering is one of the hardest parts of being a loving parent.

toddler's eyelid swollen

One of the most frightening ailments your child can suddenly contract is a swollen eyelid. One minute they’re fine, the next you’re watching their eyelid swell to almost double in size. If your child’s eyelid is swollen and sore they might be in a lot of discomforts but it’s important not to panic. By being vigilant and looking out for other symptoms, you might be able to decipher the underlying cause of their swollen eyelid. Symptoms to look out for in your child include:

  • Irritation of the Eye:

Eyelid swollen and sore, and eye feels gritty.

  • Light Sensitivity:

Struggling to look at bright lights and turning away from them.

  • Watery Eyes:

Excessive tear production.

  • Eye Obstruction:

Swelling is so profound it’s obstructing their vision.

  • Eye Discharge:

Yellow or white mucus leaking from the eye, sticking to eyelashes.

  • Eyelid Pain:

Persistent pain-causing distress.

toddler's eyelid swollen

How can you help your child with a swollen eyelid?

Before we move onto how you can help your child if they’re struggling with a swollen eyelid, it’s important to recognize any serious symptoms which could mean they need medical intervention. If your child has a temperature and is feverish, is complaining of visual disturbances or that their vision is deteriorating, if they’re nauseous, the swelling is in both eyes, have experienced a blow to the head or trauma, or you’re worried about an allergic reaction then you should seek medical help immediately.

In most circumstances, however, most eyelid swelling can be treated at home and it will go down within a day or two. Mildly swollen lids are easy to treat and you can help reduce discomfort with:

  • Applying a warm, wet washcloth to the affected area to keep it cleansed and clean
  • A cold compress to help with the swelling
  • Keeping their eyes clear and clean of gunk
  • Child ibuprofen/painkillers in the recommended dosage
  • Lots of cuddles and reassurance

toddler's eyelid swollen

What could have caused it?

We can’t keep an eye on our children every minute of the day. So it’s not always possible to know where they pick up these infections and illnesses from. Here are some of the most common (potential) causes of eyelid swelling in children:

  • There are three different types of Pink Eye:

Viral, bacterial, and allergy-based, all of which can lead to swelling of the eyelids.

  • A Stye:

Styes are blocked oil glands or eyelash follicles and when they become blocked with bacteria it leads to a small, pimple-like bump on the eyelid. This can also cause eyelid swelling.

  • An Allergic Reaction:

Perhaps your child is experiencing a hayfever attack, or they’re allergic to pet dander or pollen. Reach out to your doctor for advice.

Final thoughts…

Remember – if you’re worried about your child’s vision or health, head to the emergency room immediately.


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